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Road Sage for June 16

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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Tax shortfalls have plagued pockmarked Amstutz Road north of Leo-Cedarville, but county officials say overdue fixes are in sight.

With money in the till, road crews ready to roll

While projects might be in the works, all the planning in the world won’t mean anything unless there is money to complete actual road construction.

Q. Two years ago you wrote about the poor condition of Amstutz Road north of Leo-Cedarville to the DeKalb County line. Any update? – Jim Eagle

A. There is, Jim, and it is good news.

Bill Hartman, Allen County highway director, said a shortfall of income tax revenue has limited the money available for road surfacing projects.

That isn’t to say they don’t agree the project is needed. Hartman said the pavement of the surface is “irregular,” so off-level that it can’t be corrected using normal paving methods. Instead, wedges of binding material – typically hot asphalt – are used to fill sags and dips in the old pavement before the entire road is repaired.

Fortunately, the Allen County Council recently approved additional money to resurface some roads and upgrade others from gravel. The money comes from a change in the way fuel is bought and some reimbursements from other projects that didn’t cost as much as expected.

Because of this, the county hopes to not only repair the dips this summer, but also fully chip-and-seal the road. It is hoped this will give you a smoother drive.

Private rests

The summer road trips of my youth meant a lot of book reading, “I Spy” games and picnics at public rest stops. If an idea in Ohio takes hold, those stops in the future might include a Happy Meal instead of a cold bologna sandwich.

The state is seeking to lease space at rest areas along some of its major routes. Specifically, the state is looking at partly privatizing five rest stops in southern counties. If successful, the state will consider expanding the lease effort.

Having convenience shops, restaurants and gas stations is fairly common at toll road rest stops. Ohio’s plan was endorsed by its AAA clubs for providing more money for infrastructure maintenance and more conveniences for drivers.

Just make sure to keep a few picnic tables available.

Interstate work

The state will begin working on the shoulders along Interstate 69 between U.S. 6 in Waterloo and Indiana 4 in Ashley. While the travel lanes will be open, the shoulders will be restricted beginning Monday until mid-July to allow for pipe work over three ditches.

In addition, the state has begun working on the southbound driving lane of I-469 around the U.S. 27/U.S. 33 bridge. The work will close the lane until late June as crews repair sections of the pavement.

Radio Sage

This week’s audio question comes from Dave Knollman, who asks about the signal at U.S. 33 and Washington Center Road. The segment originally aired Friday on WOWO and can be heard online at

Road Sage provides transportation knowledge, solves driving dilemmas and answers construction conundrums. It appears every Saturday. Email your questions to