County commissioners sign roadway agreement

Railway Road chip seal delayed one year

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor

Two years ago Adams County, Perkins County, and the city of Lemmon finished a large-scale project in redoing Railway Road that stretches into portions of each entity.

Now the three have an agreement in place for the work that the road will require in the future.

Prior to the beginning of the construction project in 2015, the road was surveyed for the first time since 1997, and the results were extremely close.

“We were pretty tickled,” said Chuck Christman, chairman of the Adams County Commission. “It came out pretty close.”

Christman said that there was only about a 10-foot section that was added to the city of Lemmon, from what the 1997 survey said.

According to the survey, Adams County is responsible for 43 percent of the road, with the remaining 57 percent divided between Perkins County and the city of Lemmon.

An agreement over the distribution of road ownership was signed at the March Adams County Commissioners meeting, and at the time it was only signed by the commissioners of Adams County to be sent to Lemmon and Perkins County for review and signing.

The agreement essentially signals the amount each entity is responsible for any future projects that are needed, like chip sealing.

“What we signed yesterday, basically was the agreement that we’re all ok with the percentages that the survey gave us,” Christman said. “The maintenance of chip-sealing or cracks or whatever, that’s how we’re going to divided it up.”

The road was scheduled to be chip sealed this year, two years after the initial reconstruction. But time caught up with the commission and the other entities involved, and they are going to wait another year before doing the work.

“So we’re all ok with the percentages, and now we haven’t decided who’s going to do [the chip seal work] because it got so late nobody budgeted for it this year,” Christman said.

Christman was confident that the road won’t need the chip seal this year. He told the Record that representatives from each entity actually went out and looked at the length of the road when the area had the brief period of warm weather the last few weeks. They plan on patching cracks and fixing potholes, but an entire chip seal may not be required for another year.

“There’s not really any cracks,” Christman said.

Though he did admit that those problems can show up when the weather really warms up for good and when heavy trucks hauling heavy loads drive in it.

When it is time for the work to be done, Adams County will do the job for the entire stretch of Railway Road, and then bill the city of Lemmon and Perkins County for the work. County road superintendent Theo Schalesky told the commissioners that he and his crew could do the work.

Christman said that Adams County will do the work, when it’s scheduled. And the other entities will be billed for their portion based on the percentages of ownership, based on the survey. They figured this way would allow the road to look more uniform, rather than having three different crews only working on each portions separately.

“Rather than do three different jobs from three different companies, we just do it once and everybody pays their share,” he said. “Then you get a more uniform job for the whole thing.”

As he keeps an eye on the future of the road, and looking back at the start of the project, Christman said this is one of the best things the county has ever done.

He cited the importance of the road to a multitude of people to travelers, farmers hauling crops, and ranchers using it for livestock transportation.

“It was probably the best thing we ever did for all [involved],” he said. “The way it turned out, it was the best thing we’ve ever done.”