Worrying and alarming, some forchheim county councilors called the presentation on county-owned roads by dieter els. The head of the civil engineering office presented to the members of the construction and traffic committee on monday the maintenance work and investments he is planning up to 2023, and the financial resources the district council should include in the budget.
For this, the administration had commissioned the engineering firm heller from darmstadt to analyze the 247.199 kilometers of circular roads. Among other things, the road damage and irregularities were examined, as well as the grip of the road surface and the functioning of the drainage system. "So the condition of our county roads is not exhilarating", els stated.
One in three particularly bad
The condition of the road was assessed with grades from 1 to 5 and divided into three qualities. From a warning value of 3.0, the roads should be intensively monitored, els explained. From the threshold value of 4.5, it must even be examined whether structural or traffic-restricting measures must be introduced.
The result: 58.6 percent of the roads are above the warning value (34 percent are even above the threshold value). 41.4 percent are "commitments in order", els explained.
That’s why the head of the civil engineering department called for more budgetary resources for his department in the future – especially for road maintenance. Three million euros a year are needed for maintenance to improve the condition of the roads in the long term, he said, stressing that "if we don’t provide the money, it will certainly be even more expensive in the future."
Since 2016, successively more money has already been spent on road maintenance. "This is how it must continue, possibly even more. This is the only way to eliminate the traffic jam and ensure traffic safety, among other things", according to els.
Small wars in the administration
During the presentation of the priority list for road maintenance, els specifically criticized the budgetary policy: in previous years, due to a lack of budgetary funds and a great deal of winter damage, various maintenance measures had already had to be postponed again and again, as otherwise the budget would have been exceeded. "This means that maintenance costs have been postponed from year to year, even though there is an urgent need for renovation", alarmed els.
District administrator hermann ulm (CSU) countered: "so far, it has not failed because of the financial situation." District chamber carmen stumpf also rejected the accusation. The poor condition of the roads is definitely not due to finances. The demands that the civil engineering office has made on the administration are "generally always feasible as far as they go" been fulfilled.
"Just as I can’t judge the state of the roads, I’m not asking you to judge what the budget should look like", said carmen stumpf, with a little tip of the hat to els.
Unanimous vote for budget
The building and transportation committee unanimously recommended that the maintenance and investment programs presented be included in the budget.
"What we are hearing is alarming. The poor state of affairs is, after all, indisputably "neutrally proven", said district councillor sebastian korber (FDP). The district council must examine whether money can be saved elsewhere. Richard gugel () agreed: "we have to do the most possible". Safety goes first and foremost."
Edwin dippacher (CSU) pointed out that the report only looked at the technical situation, but not the financial situation of the district. In the past few years, road maintenance has already received a significant increase in funding. "I have the impression that it fits. If we estimate 2.4 million euros per year for road maintenance this year, and in five years we’ll be at three million, then we can seriously justify it."