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Nevada County prepares for road projects

Some $2.7 million expected to hit Nevada County coffers next fiscal year will pay for road resurfacing, as well as the design for the Squirrel Creek culvert project.

The culvert project, which includes the replacement of a 14-foot corrugated pipe that runs underneath Rough and Ready Highway near Rex Reservoir Road, is scheduled for 2019. It’s contingent on money from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. That act implemented a statewide 12-cent gas tax — an initiative opponents hope to overturn in a proposed November ballot question — and is the main source of the county’s $2.7 million.

The loss of gas tax revenue would mean the local culvert project wouldn’t occur next year. Additionally, other pavement rehabilitation projects would stall, said Trisha Tillotson, director of the county’s Public Works Department.

The county won’t proceed past the design work for the culvert until it’s reimbursed by state and federal agencies for money spent to repair damage caused by last year’s heavy rains. Officials hope to receive $800,000 in reimbursements — about the same cost for the culvert’s design and construction.

The county spent $1.2 million on repairs, mostly on damage caused by a Brunswick Road slide, Tillotson said.

A 14-mile resurfacing project paid for by the gas tax will occur regardless of a potential November vote because it’s scheduled for this summer.

“We’re resurfacing several roads, primarily Pleasant Valley and Penn Valley Drive,” Tillotson said.

About $1 million of the $2.7 million will pay for the resurfacing. Set to start this summer, the repaving will take about two months.

The Board of Supervisors approved in February the Squirrel Creek culvert design and the 14 miles of resurfacing. On Tuesday it formally approved a list of projects funded by the gas tax — a requirement of the Road Repair and Accountability Act.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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