New Philadelphia, Ohio (WJER) - Tuscarawas County’s engineer is highlighting the impact a lack of funding for road maintenance and repair can have for county drivers.
Joe Bachman’s report shows vehicle accident rates in Tuscarawas County are about three times higher than the state average. He says when you look at the county’s roads, the blind turns, steep banks and narrow widths are apparent hazards that take significant amounts of money to correct.
“Crooked Run, Schneider’s Crossing and Stonecreek Road, we’re widening that pavement so that the driver has more of a chance of recovery, and really it’s geometry issues. Some of the issues we can correct. It’s just a really long-term situation in terms of taking care of some of these geometry issues,” he says.
Bachman applauds the governor’s gas tax, but he says even the 10.5-cent increase will only be the beginning of what he says it will take to fix Ohio's roads.
“In probably four or five years, ODOT will be back again saying, hey, we need this adjusted. I think everybody realizes that it was somewhat of a short-term compromise,” he says. “By the same token, for the locals, it’s nothing to sneeze at. It is a significant amount of additional funding.”
Bachman says he hopes the commissioners will revisit ways to bring in more money for local street repairs, like a license plate fee increase which he says is his department’s main source of local funding.