Jackson County District 1 Update

Drew Markel Jackson County Commissioner

July 1 marked my sixth full month in office as a Jackson County Commissioner in District 1 of Jackson County. These sixth months were full of tons of new information from both community leaders as well as constituents. If you have any questions or have an issue that needs addressed please feel free to contact me at (812) 569-1110 or use my Constituent Contact Form. My first update will speak to the work being done on Jackson County Roads and Bridges.

Update on Roads and Bridges

The Jackson County Highway Department has been hard at work repairing, replacing and preserving roads and bridges around Jackson County. Jackson County has over 700 miles of roads and 150 bridges. Jackson County is the 8th largest County in the State of Indiana in regards to land size at just over 500 sq. mi. of land. I have been asked many questions about the different methods that are used to repair and preserve the roads in Jackson County. As Commissioner it is my duty to ensure that tax dollars are being used effectively in the preservation of these roadways. With the amount of miles of roads this is a very large task.

How are roads chosen for repair or replacement in Jackson County?

Jackson County utilizes the PASER scale system for roads. The PASER scale is a 1-10 rating system for road pavement condition developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Transportation Information Center. PASER uses visual inspection to evaluate pavement surface conditions. When assessed correctly, PASER ratings provide a basis for comparing the quality of roadway segments. All roads in Jackson County are rated 1-10. Road ratings as well as the amount of use are figured into which roads are repaired or replaced each year.

Chip and Seal Process

Why do we utilize Chip and Seal?

I have heard many people ask about the use of a preservation technique known as "chip and seal". Chip and seal is utilized to preserve roadways that are not yet in need of repaving. Chip and seal fills cracks and gaps in the pavement to keep water from entering gaps in the pavement. Chip and seal is a very cost effective method to preserve roadways.

Cost to repair or replace

Cost to pave 1 mile - $45,000 - $60,000

Cost to chip and seal 1 mile - $5800.00

It is not cost effective or financially possible to pave or replace each roadway in need of preservation in Jackson County. Without the use of preservation techniques such as chip and seal the county would not be able to keep up with the amount of roads that are truly in disrepair and in need of replacement.

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