Stillwater News Press

October 22, 2012

Payne County Commissioner Zach Cavett complains about road study

By John Filonow
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Payne County’s road study isn’t providing a complete picture of road problems, Payne County District 1 Commissioner Zach Cavett said during Monday’s county commission meeting.

Commissioners approved the road study on Sept. 10 and hired engineeer Jimmy W. Hill and finalized the methods for conducting the study on Sept. 19. The study should be completed by the end of the year.

At the Sept. 19 meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to count 18-wheelers separately from cars and pickups.

Monday, Cavett complained bobtail trucks, smaller 10-wheel dump trucks, are being counted as cars and pickups.

Bobtail trucks weigh 25,000 pounds empty and some roads in his district have a 30,000 pound weight limit, he said.

Cars and trucks weigh approximately 2,000 pounds an axle, Cavett said.

Traffic counts are being conducted on five roads each in districts 1 and 3. Cavett and County Commissioner Jim Arthur determined the roads for traffic counts in their districts.

The Pawnee Tribe is supplying traffic counters that can determine the sizes and weights of vehicles using those roads.

Cavett said he understood the traffic count methods and had worked with commissioners Gloria Hesser and Arthur to change preliminary assessment methods in the study.

He voted to approve the study because other commissioners were “not willing to bend any further,” he said.

Arthur said Monday that he was satisfied with the study’s method of assessing weight, and didn’t know why it was being brought up again.

The $42,500 study will determine how money earmarked for road departments from the county’s 3/8 cent sales taxes will be divided between districts 1 and 3. The study will assess road maintenance requirements, bridge repair needs and traffic counts.

Cavett said changing the study would require a yes vote from either Arthur or Hesser.

“Those two commissioners will do whatever they want to do,” Cavett said.