Scotts Bluff County continues to fall behind in its road maintenance and there is no foreseeable solution in the future without more funding.
That was the conclusion after the commissioners spent an hour Tuesday evening with their road and bridge staff talking about how to maintain the current road system and fund much needed projects over the next six years.
Board Chair Mark Masterton noted the one million dollars the county plans to spend this year on six culverts is not keeping up with what is needed for 160 miles of asphalt, over 800 miles of gravel and more than 200 bridges.
Masterton says part of the solution may involve turning some of the 160 miles of paved roads into gravel. Masterton says the county is not ready to do that now, but sees it as an option in the future. He also emphasizes that while gravel roads may cost less to maintain, the cost is not entirely eliminated.
Among the 30 projects the county has in its six year plan is the need to repave 12 miles of crumbling Stegall Road at a cost of well over seven million dollars. The commissioners say they can’t ask for more tax money so the road and bridge department will need to find other sources of funding, probably grants, to assist in restoring local roadways.