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South Fayette makes road improvements a priority

| Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, 7:06 p.m.

South Fayette will step up efforts to improve its roads this year.

Township officials intend to spend approximately $1 million on road paving, maintenance and improvement projects this year.

The strong push toward better roads comes at a price to taxpayers. The 2016 budget of $10.86 million includes a 1-mill increase, bringing the rate to 4.48 mills.

Residents with a home valued at $100,000 will pay $448 in property taxes, a $100 increase.

Road conditions were the top complaint submitted online by residents last year. Officials responded by approving a third-party to do the township's first comprehensive road study.

Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering Inc. of Coraopolis was hired to rate every road, set priorities and estimate costs.

The result is a long-term $32 million road paving program that was presented to the board in November.

The roadway maintenance study can be viewed on the township's website by typing in “road study” in the search bar.

“The first couple of years, residents will see more sealing to preserve a lot of our roads,” township Manager Ryan Eggleston said.

Eggleston said the township usually spends about $300,000 annually on road improvements.

Based on the study, spending that amount of money would take the township 100 years to maintain every road.

The increased funding will put the township on a 30- to 40-year cycle, Eggleston said.

Every road in the township is ranked from one to 10, with one being “severe distress, extensive loss of surface integrity” and 10 being “new construction.”

Roads also were rated on additional criteria, such as traffic volume.

A list of roads has not been finalized, as work continues on preparing bids.

“We will start with roads rated the worse. We realize the study will need updated (in a few years),” Eggleston said. “We feel comfortable that the residents will notice improvements in our roads over the next several years.”

Jim Spezialetti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5805 or jspezialetti@tribweb.com.

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