Study provides snapshot of county road conditions

5.3 percent "poor"


The new $2.2 million resurfacing job on county road 25 removed just over four miles from the county's 11.57-mile inventory of poor and very poor roads. The road runs from U.S. 231 at Summit to the Marshall County line.

The new $2.2 million resurfacing job on county road 25 removed just over four miles from the county’s 11.57-mile inventory of poor and very poor roads. The road runs from U.S. 231 at Summit to the Marshall County line.

Preliminary results of an evaluation of county roads were presented Thursday to the Blount County Commission work session by Steve Ostaseski, principal planner representing the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. The findings are based on a study conducted last year. It forms the database for an on-going “pavement management system” for county roads.

The study evaluated 54 county road segments, including some 220 miles of farm-to-market roads. It breaks them down into segments of half-a-mile to several miles in length. Each segment is rated for overall surface condition, traffic volume, lane width, and truck traffic, and includes a lower and upper cost estimate to bring the segment up to standard. The visual ratings used were excellent, very good, good, fair, poor, and very poor.

Ostaseski said final results of the study await detailed analysis and prioritization by county commissioners and should be complete in the next two to three months.

Below is a summary of preliminary findings

74.4% or 163.21 total miles were rated “good,” “very good,” or “excellent.”
25.6% or 56.02 total miles were rated “fair,” “poor,” or “very poor.”
Breaking the same results down into finer detail:
15.6% or 34.18 total miles were rated “very good” or “excellent.”
58.8% or 129.03 total miles were rated “good.”
20.3% or 44.45 total miles were rated “fair.”
5.3% or 11.57 total miles were rated “poor” or “very poor.”

Roads rated “poor” or “very poor” in the preliminary evaluation include Acton Bend Circle in District 1, Gilliland Road in District 2, Reid Road in District 3, and Swann Bridge Road in District 4. The $2.2 million resurfacing project of county road 25 in District 2, rated “very poor,” was recently completed.

Roads with highest traffic counts:

Co. Road # Avg. Daily Volume Location
29 3700 Straight Mtn, south of U.S. 231 en route to
Highland Lake
8 3691 Skyline Drive, west of I-65
47 2783 Blountsville to Cullman Co. line en route to
Hanceville
1 2754 Allgood north to county road 33
34 2348 Susan Moore Road
26 2090 Inside Blountsville town limits
27 2020 Straight Mtn. south of U.S. 231 en route to
Springville
1 1831 Cleveland south to county road 33
5 Points Rd. 1719 Downtown Cleveland to high school
26 1666 Through Royal connecting Ala 75 and Ala 79
39 1665 Oneonta to Walnut Grove

61 perecent of Blount County roads evaluated had average daily traffic volumes below 1000 last year. 39 percent had volumes of 1000 and greater.

Roads with highest truck traffic

County road 25 (U.S. 231 to Marshall County line) 19 % trucks
County road 9 (Ala 160 to U.S. 31) 16% trucks
County road 1 (Allgood to Cleveland) 15% trucks
County road 47 (Blountsville to Hanceville) 15% trucks

About two thirds of Blount County roads evaluated had truck traffic volumes at 10 percent or less.

Roads with highest projected future traffic

County Road # Avg. Daily Vol. (est. 2030)
29 (U.S. 231 to Highland Lake) 5720
8 (Skyline Drive, west of I-65) 5706
1 (Allgood to Cleveland) 4550
Valley Grove Rd. (Remlap Dr. to Pine Mtn.) 4518
45 (Blountsville to Cullman line/Hanceville) 4302
Susan Moore Road (Ala 75 to high school) 3630
26 (Blountsville to Cullman line/Garden City) 3231
27 (County 29 to St. Clair line/Springville) 3123

44 percent of Blount County roads evaluated were projected to have average daily traffic volumes below 1000 in 2030; 56 percent will have volumes of 1000 or greater.

Other study highlights

• Cost to repair the five county roads in worst condition, without respect to traffic volume: 12.9 miles at a cost of $8.6 million.

• Cost to bring up to standard the top five roads needing work, based on both traffic volume and surface condition: 27.9 miles at a cost of $26 million.

• Cost to repair/repave/restripe 92 intersections countywide: $27 million.

• Total cost for all categories above: $61.6 million.

The planning commission-sponsored study cost $50,000 and was paid for by a grant plus 50 percent county matching funds. It will be used to prioritize, schedule, and carry out county road improvements in the years ahead, according to its announced rationale.