Akron, Ohio – On June 4, 2012, Summit County Council passed an Ordinance proposed by the Summit County Executive and Summit County Engineer requiring companies frequently hauling heavy loads over County roads to enter into a “Roadway Use, Repair and Maintenance Agreement” with Summit County. The agreement will protect County roads from damage which leads to costly repairs due to excessive and overweight vehicle use.
While state highways are built to withstand sustained heavy vehicle use, county and township roads are designed to handle local traffic. Due to a potential increase of large vehicles that exceed design limits on County roads because of the hydraulic fracturing industry, Summit County took the steps to limit any possible damage to local roads. The agreement is applicable to any companies or persons frequently using County roads for hauling large loads.
“This is a good agreement to protect Summit County’s roads and a good deal for the citizens,” said Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker, P.E., P.S. “We got out early enough on this that no damage has been caused yet to our roadways and any potential damage will be mitigated. This was a real coordinated effort to get these agreements in place, starting with the County Engineer’s Association of Ohio, the State Legislature, the Summit County Prosecutor’s office, the Executive’s office, and our townships. We are very pleased with the resulting agreement.”
Companies signing the agreement will be responsible for bringing the road up to the standards necessary for hauling heavy and/or oversized equipment frequently. The agreement calls for the widening and other improvements to such roads, including upgrades to culverts, bridges and road shoulders.
In addition to pre-project road improvements, video of the roads will be taken to properly gauge their conditions prior to the start of trucking of oversized or overweight loads. The video will help identify any damages caused by excessive hauling. If any damage to the road is sustained, the company will be responsible for its timely repair. The company will also take out a surety bond to ensure road and bridge repairs are done in a timely manner.
“The Roadway Use, Repair and Maintenance Agreement” is becoming standard across the state of Ohio. Recent legislation on the state level allows for local governments to maintain control over their roads and bridges. The County Engineer’s Association of Ohio has encouraged all counties to adopt similar legislation regarding the protection of county roadways. Stark County was one of the first counties in Ohio to pass the agreement and have already entered into an agreement with two companies.