Are Mahoning County roads up to standards? Engineers test to ensure durability

The Mahoning County Engineer's Office measures the thickness of asphalt to ensure taxpayers are getting their money's worth.


CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Western Reserve Road is just one of the hundreds of roads that will be repaved this year. With all of the road projects slated to be completed, It is important for the county engineers to make sure taxpayers are getting the most out of their money.

John Woolard, environmental administrator with the Mahoning County Engineer’s Office, said engineers consider the monitoring of these road projects to be important.

“We like to be onsite at all times when the project is being constructed,” he said.

The Mahoning County Engineer's Office measures the thickness of asphalt to ensure taxpayers are getting their money's worth.
The Mahoning County Engineer’s Office measures the thickness of asphalt to ensure taxpayers are getting their money’s worth.

During construction, engineers measure the amount of asphalt used, and they make sure companies are using enough to finish the job. After roads are paved, the county takes core samples to see what the road looks like under the surface.

“We do that as a means of checks and balances. With all the work that goes on in the county, we want to make sure, not only are we getting what we paid for, but we are getting the right thickness,” said Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti.

Ginnetti said inspectors have found thin spots on county roads before.

“Some of the roads that we’ve cored in the past have shown varying thicknesses of the asphalt — some less than what we thought should have been there, some more,” Ginnetti said.

Roads not built to specifications will not stand up to the demands of modern traffic, Woolard said.

“The road would degrade a lot faster than if it was constructed to spec,” he said. “If there are two inches supposed to go down, that’s exactly what we’re going to get.”

If the road is not up to standards, contractors have to return to the project to lay more asphalt.

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