'Record Levels' of Road Construction in Jackson County

Posted at 10:01 AM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 10:01:25-04

The Jackson County Department of Transportation has been putting a big dent into it's crumbling roads and residents are taking notice.

Part of the credit goes to the county's new $5 million road recycling machine.  FOX 47's Marcus Dash saw it in action today.

The Wirtgen 38,000 cold recycler is replacing a two-mile stretch of Mapledale Road in Jackson right now. The machine grinds up the old road and then lays down a new base, all in one swoop. However, the county's Department of Transportation tells me the machine is only covering a small portion of their busy construction season.

"We have record levels of construction happening right now, never before has our agency seen this kind of activity," said Christopher Bolt.

While they have their new road recycling toy to play with, Bolt says it'll only get around to 27 miles of road in 2018, but the machine is a part of a long-term plan.

"This is going to take years, literally a decade to two decades, our goal is actually to recycle every road in Jackson County," said Bolt.

Even though only some roads will see the benefits of this new machine, the county is still continuing its efforts on to back roads just like these. Part of their plan is to improve every local road in Summit township by 2020 and residents are excited.

"Really glad we are finally getting around to it, it's been a long time coming, these roads are pretty bad around here, so all of Summit Township being done in the next few years is a good thing," said Jasen Green.

Bolt says although they are getting positive feedback from the community, he wants to remind people fixing the roads isn't an overnight process.

"We are working hard to do as much as we can, as quickly as we can, it takes a lot of planning, and we really have to slow down before we speed up," said Christopher Bolt.

The road reconstruction on Mapledale will take about two to three more day and then it'll be off to nearby Kimmel and Reynolds roads.