FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – The Allen County Board of Commissioners announced it is investing $2 million to help accelerate the conversion of 27 miles of gravel roads in the county to chip-and-seal hard surfaces this year.
This first round of conversions is part of a plan put together by GAI Consulting for the county highway department. Over the next five years, around half of the county’s remaining 186 miles of gravel roads could be hard surfaced depending on the availability of funding and condition of the road segment. The roads planned for conversion were chosen based on factors such as continuity to other paved roads, an existing 20-foot wide stone pavement as part of the road, and a minimum of two houses per mile on the road.
The $2 million comes from the county’s Local Income Tax (LIT) funds. “LIT represents our portion of income tax derived from residents in unincorporated Allen County and it is important to us to put that money back out into the areas from which it came,” stated the Board of Commissioners.
“As traffic counts increase, hard surface roads are cheaper to maintain in the long run than gravel roads,” added the commissioners. “In future years there may be additional infusions of cash to convert roads where it is cost-effective to do so.”
The announcement is on top of a $1 million infusion into trails and an annual $2.4 million increase in the LIT allocation to highway for road maintenance in unincorporated Allen County.