Ferguson Road deemed one of the most dangerous in the state
by Dennis Sharkey
Jefferson County has two of the worst roads in the state for fatalities.
A five-year study shows that Ferguson Road from U.S. 24 Highway to K-92 Highway and Wellman Road from U.S. 24 Highway to K-16 are dangerous.
Road and Bridge Director Francis Hubbard said that all 105 counties were studied and that those two roads are elidgeble for a high risk rural road funding assessment program. The study includes non-state adminstrered roads that have a high number of accidents.
Ferguson Road is one of the worst in the state. The road has had five fatalties, 10 major disableing injuries and 13 serious crashes during the study period that began in 2005 and ended last year.
The cost of the study is around $35,000 with 90 percent of the cost picked up by the federal government.
After the study is complete a final report is made with a list of recommendations. The county has up to five years to do the recommended work. Hubbard said he believed the widening of the shoulders onWellman Road was a result of a similar study.
In other actions:
• Hubbard said the county has about 300 tons of salt/sand mix for treating county roads. A typical storm will require about 125 tons. The mix is 50 percent salt and sand each.
Hubbard said 400 tons of salt has been on order for three months. Fifty tons was recently delivered to the county after a phone call was made.
Hubbard noted that this winter has not been as bad as last year’s.
• Bids were opened for a new tractor road grader. Two dealers submitted bids that will be reviewed by Hubbard.
• Planning and Zoning Director Eloise Tichenor reported that she has made contact with someone at the Corps of Engineers in Kansas City regarding deed and title work for property that was transfered to the county more than 25 years ago.
Last year the county was approached by Kentucky Township about an eight acre plot on 31st Street and Ferguson Road for a new fire substation.
Commissioners agreed to transfer the land to the township but could not locate a deed in the Recorder’s office.
Tichenor said that no documentation or record that county commissioners accepted the land transfers can be located. The transfer included hundreds of parcels of land.
Tichenor said the Corps of Engineers said they would help with locating and processing the paperwork, however, they did not want to be responsible for any costs. Tichenor said the whole process would cost about $500.
Commissioners agreed to proceed.
• Commissioners approved a resolution that will allow them to record accounting figures in a short form.
• Commissioners signed a letter of support for Jefferson County Services.
• Dan Shimmin, Lakeside Village Board, reported that the village will be closing Village Lane at Delaware Park. The road is a private road and will dead end at Delaware. Shimmin said the village will construct a fence to block the road. The road will remain open for the resturant and bar located there.
The village wants to close the road because of illegal trash dumping.
Board Chairman Jerry White said the post office and school district have been informed, 911 Dispatch was notified Monday and letters will be sent to the Sheriff’s Department and the fire protection districts.
• Susan Newell, 911 director, said the county is implementing new software that will send information about fire calls to multiple jurisdictions rather than just the jurisdiction where the fire is occuring.
Newell said the only downside is that all call information whether a response is needed for the adjacent jurisdiction or not such as the case with medical calls.
When a call comes to dispatch the information is faxed to the department with a map and an address.
“We can’t just pick and choose because it’s so automatic,” she said. “When they look at it on the flip side they’re going to want to know.”
She said one department will start using the program. Once that department is comfortable with the change, other departments will be implemented.
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