by Lisa Tome
Most of those who live along Elkton's Star Route Road, may be having to take the long way around.
County officials looked in the capital budget last week in order to transfer funds to make an emergency repair on that road. The east side of the road has been closed for a culvert replacement.
County Public Works Director Scott Flanigan explained what happened. He said that the culvert needs to be replaced. The cost of the project exceeds $100,000 and the project didn't make the cut for funding in 2015.
More than a month ago, county road crews noted that the road has now become a safety concern. The road was reduced to one lane and a jersey barrier installed. Two weeks ago, the problem escalated and the road was closed fully.
"The fix cannot wait for fiscal year 2016," said Flanigan.
Now the plan is to place this project in the road and bridges repair/replacement program. Excess funds from other road projects which came in under budget will be used to pay and get work on Star Route underway.
The scope of work includes replacing the culvert with a new box culvert. The cost will be $283,000 and work is expected to be finished by the end of this calendar year. The average daily traffic on this road is 300 cars per day.
County council members were given the chance to ask questions about this project. Councilman Robert Hodge said a box culvert is more costly than a traditional culvert.
"It's interesting to see how much money is left over on projects," said councilwoman Diana Broomell. She also said she wanted figures of how much is leftover from completed projects. She was told more than $500,000 is left over from three unspecified projects.
Broomell asked if this money could be used for the Perryville High School track. Budget manager Craig Whiteford said fund balance money will be used for the track work.