The following questions were raised at our June 11, 2015 public listening session at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park.
What are you doing with our roads?
How much does one mile of road cost to fix?
Funding for roads is a shared responsibility between the Forest Service, Federal Highways Administration, State of Tennessee, and Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have approximately 465 miles of Forest System Roads, which include 148 miles of paved roads, 180 miles of gravel roads and 113 miles of natural surface roads.
Additionally we have received funding from the Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads (EFRO) Program in cases of storm damage. In the eight years prior to Fiscal Year 2014; we received a total of $2.8 million for nine Federal Highways’ emergency projects as shown in the chart below.
Previous Federal Highways Projects under emergency funding
ERFO Projects prior to FY 14
|174||Box culvert with headwalls||$350,000|
|165||Double barrel 12’ box culvert with headwalls||$600,000|
|109||Box culvert with headwalls||$350,000|
|214||Box culvert with headwalls||$350,000|
|100||Headwall and culvert repair||$100,000|
|166||Box culvert with headwalls||$350,000|
|203||Box culvert with headwalls||$270,000|
|364||Box culvert with headwalls||$270,000|
In Fiscal Year 2014, Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads Program funded the construction of a bridge on Road 130 and two aquatic-friendly culverts on Roads 134 and 108. These three projects cost 1.2 million.
Federal Highway Funds
In Fiscal Year 2014 the Federal Highways Administration also paved Roads 206, 108, and southern portions of the Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway. Additionally Federal Highways’ funds provided mowing of our paved road right-of-ways, including such roads as the Trace (100), Mulberry Flat Road (135), and Silver Trail Road (133) in addition to roads 117, 118, 134, 165, 206 and Road 230. Mowing occurs throughout the growing season.
In addition, in Fiscal Year 2014 we received $65,905 in Federal Highways funds. This $65,905 was not expended in Fiscal Year 2014, but is planned to be used in Fiscal year 2015 for road maintenance projects.
Forest Service Funds
In Fiscal Year 2014, funding for roads totaled $607,603. Of this amount $557,603 was appropriated while $50,000 was drawn from revenue through our hunt program.
The cost for grading one mile of road is $405. In Fiscal Year 2014 we graded over 290 miles of roadway at a cost of $117,623. The decision to grade a road is based on usage and, in a normal year, only a portion of the total miles of roads need to be graded. In high traffic areas, some roads may require grading every year. Following (Figure 2) is a list containing the numbers of the roads that we graded in Fiscal Year 2014; portions of some of the listed roads were graded more than once.
One special road project for Fiscal Year 2014 was a ditch restoration project on Road 127 costing $27,827 that also included mowing and tree trimming. Another project was a guard rail for Road 214. Working in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), the Forest Service funded this project. We completed the first phase of the guard rail project in Fiscal Year 2014 at a cost of $20,520 to clear vegetation. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will complete the second phase and install the new guard rail on Road 214 at a cost of $79,480.
Storm events in Fiscal Year 2014 damaged several roads creating a need for temporary repairs until Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads Program projects could be approved. Temporary repairs, costing $14,897 were completed on Roads 144, 153, 112, and Greys Landing Road 79-A, 79-A2, 79-A3, and 79-A31.
Each year, as funds allow, we add gravel to our roads. In Fiscal Year 2014 we placed 3,375 tons of gravel, which cost approximately $50,000 dollars.
In Fiscal Year 2014, our annual mowing operations cost approximately $64,800. Around 144 miles of major roads were mowed three times in 2014. Mowing these roads costs $150 per mile. Side arming, which entails the trimming of limbs to provide a safe clearance for larger recreation vehicles and tour buses, has become an important component of road maintenance. We spent $30,000 on this work in Fiscal year 2014.
Other Transportation Costs
Our remaining road funds are usually distributed for work on snow removal, trash pickup, signage, and fallen trees that block roads. We experienced normal expenditures for this work in FY2014, which cost approximately $35,520.
In addition, we spent $166,936 in personnel and fleet costs as part of the road maintenance budget.
Every year we conduct maintenance on some of the 267 known cemeteries’ access roads at Land Between The Lakes. Some access roads for cemeteries are also access roads to some of our open and crop lands. When that is the case, many of these cemetery access roads are maintained by our cooperative farmers, on-site maintenance contractor, and the National Wild Turkey Federation at no additional cost to our roads program.
The cost to maintain cemetery access roads varies with the need. Some of the work completed included tree/debris removal, some spot graveling, creek crossing repair (which can be annual for some locations), tree trimming along access corridors, and mowing some portions. In Fiscal Year 2014, Catholic 1, Catholic 2 and Hicks Cemeteries’ access roads received heavy maintenance to reduce erosion and improve access.
In Fiscal Year 2014 $15,000 of revenue dollars were spent for cemetery access maintenance.
Forest Service funding for roads in Fiscal Year 2014 totaled $607,603 with 72 percent of our roads budget spent on work on the ground — $361,187 in FY2014 and $79,480 rolled over to Fiscal Year 2015 as part of the guard rail project. There was $166,936 spent on personnel and fleet costs. We used an additional $15,000 from our revenue funds on maintaining cemetery accesses.
Roads graded in 2014
|102||Nickell Branch Road|
|105||Twin Lakes South|
|109||Willow Creek Road|
|111||Pisgah Point Road|
|112||Brandon Chapel Road|
|116||Smith Bay Road|
|120||Smith Cemetery Road|
|121||Henderson Chapel Road|
|122||Bethlehem Cemetery Road|
|123||Crossroad Church Road|
|125||Hildreth Cemetery Road|
|127||Kuttawa Landing Road|
|128||Lady Cemetery Road|
|132||Duncan Bay Road|
|139||Pinnegar Cemetery Road|
|141||Scout Trail Road|
|142||Higgins Bay Road|
|143||Barnett Bay Road – 1|
|147||Ferguson Spring Road|
|159||Devils Elbow Lakeside Access|
|167||Turkey Creek Road|
|169||Colson Hollow Road|
|170||Fords Bay Road|
|171||Redd Hollow Road|
|174||Old River Road|
|204||Linton Ferry Road|
|205||Ginger Bay Road|
|212||Ginger Ridge Road|
|214||Neville Bay Road|
|218||Fox Hollow Road – 1|
|219||Fox Hollow Road – 2|
|220||Nolan Cemetery Road|
|227||Gatlin Point Road – 1|
|228||Gatlin Point Road – 2|
|229||Bear Creek Road|
|312||Back Mail Route Road|
|318||Sugar Creek Road|
|319||Higgins Branch Road|
|335||Gas Line Road|
|336||Vickers Ridge Road|
|337||Cassity Cemetery Road|
|338||Chambers Cemetery Road|
|347||Fords Bay Ramp Road|
|361||Rushing Creek Cemetery Road|
|364||Hicks Cemetery Road|
|377||Tischel Hollow Road 1|
|378||Tischel Hollow Road 2|
|379||Byrd Fork Road|
|388||Folks Cemetery Road|
|392||Herndon Cemetery Road|
|394||Dry Fork Road|
|395||Wildcat Hollow Road|
|396||Panther Bay Road|
|397||Stilly Hollow Road|
|403||Coleman Cemetery Road|
|409||Green Branch Road|
|412||South Sugar Bay Road|
|413||Turkey Creek Cemetery Road|
|415||St. Stevens Cemetery Road|