“Life is beautiful if you are on the road to somewhere.” — Orhan Pamuk
The questions or comments we get the most have to do with our roads, especially the chip and seal roads. The first question is usually, “Who owns the roads in Fairfield Glade?”
Peavine Rd., which is the main road into the Glade, is owned and maintained by the state. Construction to widen and straighten it is being funded by state and federal dollars. Fairfield Glade Community Club maintains the medians and grassy areas along Peavine Rd. from St. George Dr. to just east of the Catoosa/Westchester intersection. We do this because the state would not maintain this area to the level we would prefer.
All the other roads in Fairfield Glade, except for the grassy/gravel roads, are owned by the county. However, given their limited resources, FGCC funds most of the maintenance of these roads. Your property taxes don’t fund any roads in Cumberland County. The county’s Road Department gets all its funding from state gas taxes allocated to the counties based on a number of factors including population and miles of road.
Scott Blaylock, the elected County Roads Superintendent, has been very helpful with roadwork in Fairfield Glade. He helps us with large culvert replacements and other jobs we don’t have the equipment or resources to handle. Superintendent Blaylock told us the county typically has only about $900,000 for asphalt road paving. With nine districts in the county, each district gets about $100,000 for road paving each year. That equates to less than a mile of asphalt paving or about 5 miles of chip and seal paving. Starting this county fiscal year, we have asked them to use the $100,000 allocated to Fairfield Glade to do the chip and seal paving in Fairfield Glade that was once done by FGCC employees and our equipment instead of asphalt paving. Our equipment became aged to the point of needing replacement and management felt the county had better equipment and expertise to do a better job.
Fairfield Glade has approximately 125 miles of road; of which, 65 are chip and seal (aka tar and chip) and 60 are asphalt-paved. We maintain a road improvement schedule showing all our roads and when they were last resurfaced. We use it to project a preliminary year during which each road will be scheduled for resurfacing. Each year after winter, we evaluate the roads to determine which ones should be resurfaced that year. We focus on roads that have deteriorated to the point they have become unsafe, or could require substantially more dollars to repair in the future. Our policy for the type of resurfacing is as follows:
1. We asphalt pave roads that are already paved with asphalt or roads that are collector roads like Rotherham Dr/ (partially chip and seal until this year) for which a number of other roads feed into before connecting to a larger collector road like Catoosa Blvd.
2. Neighborhood roads will typically be resurfaced using the same material as their current surface unless we see we can easily include a small street or cul-de-sac as we are asphalt paving a longer road nearby.
We pave close to 6 miles of road each year for about $650,000. The county will be chip and seal paving about 5 miles of road per year at no cost to FGCC. Both surfaces have to be resurfaced every 10-20 years, depending on the amount of traffic on the road. Some members have commented that we don’t spend enough on our roads, and they are in terrible shape. The terrible shape comment is most likely due to the appearance of the chip and seal roads. With this type of construction, there will always be some loose chip (gravel), as well as the edges break down quicker.
Every mile of asphalt paved road costs us about $110,000, or about $1 per month in dues. Therefore, $6 per month of dues is required just to continue paving about 6 miles of road each year. We would need another $1 per month to pave an additional mile of road each year. With 65 miles of chip and seal roads, it would take many years to get all the chip and seal converted to asphalt. After that, the cost to maintain all of these as paved roads would most likely be over $1 million per year, assuming you have to repave every 15 years on average (125 miles of road divided by 15 = 8.3 miles of road each year). Therefore, cost is the main reason it has been our policy to keep neighborhood roads that are chip and seal as they are.
Other road-related comments concern the lack of shoulders on many Fairfield Glade roads. Where we can build up the shoulder in a cost-effective manner, we will. However, there are many areas where the terrain makes it cost prohibitive. We maintain accident data and encourage the county to fix areas where an inordinate number of accidents have occurred.
If you have immediate concerns, a pothole or a deteriorating patch of roadway which you feel should be on the list for next year, please contact our Public Works division at 931-707-2135.