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What are you doing with our roads? How much does one mile of road cost to fix?

What are you doing with our roads? How much does one mile of road cost to fix?


Q&A Roads

The following questions were raised at our June 11, 2015 public listening session at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park.

  1. What are you doing with our roads?

  2. 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.

Emergency Repairs

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
126 Wooden bridge $160,000
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.

Additional Maintenance

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.

Cemetery Access

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

Number Graded Road
102 Nickell Branch Road
105 Twin Lakes South
109 Willow Creek Road
111 Pisgah Point Road
112 Brandon Chapel Road
113 Rogers Road
115 Yale Road
116 Smith Bay Road
119 Harper Road
120 Smith Cemetery Road
121 Henderson Chapel Road
122 Bethlehem Cemetery Road
123 Crossroad Church Road
124 Cothran Road
125 Hildreth Cemetery Road
127 Kuttawa Landing Road
128 Lady Cemetery Road
132 Duncan Bay Road
139 Pinnegar Cemetery Road
140 Ironton Road
141 Scout Trail Road
142 Higgins Bay Road
143 Barnett Bay Road – 1
144 Ironton Road
147 Ferguson Spring Road
155 Spring Road
159 Devils Elbow Lakeside Access
160 Calloway Road
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
221 Tharpe Road
227 Gatlin Point Road – 1
228 Gatlin Point Road – 2
229 Bear Creek Road
312 Back Mail Route Road
314 Woodland 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
380 Scott Road
382 Hollow Road
388 Folks Cemetery Road
389 Rayburn 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




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