Cracks are seen on a Clinton County road. Clinton County Engineer Todd Kinney discussed the road system within the county during Monday's Clinton County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Samantha Pidde/Clinton Herald
The Clinton Herald

CLINTON — For Clinton County Engineer Todd Kinney, giving paved roads the proper care early on is vital to a healthy road system.

“It’s much more feasible to invest into your system early than it is later on,” Kinney said.

Kinney on Monday highlighted the importance of preventative road maintenance during the Clinton County Board of Supervisors meeting. The county invests approximately $182,000 each year in preventative maintenance, including crack sealing, fog sealing and slurry sealing.

“If you were to check around the state, I don’t think there are many (counties) that invest that much in preventative maintenance,” Kinney said.

Kinney said the Iowa Department of Transportation will pay for the collection of pavement management data for each county. The collection will occur this year. An attempt to reach a representative from IDOT on this program was unsuccessful.

The state of Iowa breaks down a county road system to the amount of lane miles, which multiplies the amount of road miles by the amount of lanes. Clinton County has 430 lane miles, with approximately 215 paved road miles.

Through a presentation, Kinney explained roads are rated by how many service years they have left, with most starting with 25 years. Each year, the county loses 430 lane mile years. Kinney likened the road system to a bank account.

“Mother Nature and traffic are making withdrawals on your system every year,” Kinney said.

The county is constantly trying to deposit more lane mile years for the road system through maintenance and reconstruction. Kinney explained that for the $182,000, the county gets back 401 of the 430 lane mile years the road system loses each year.

However, Kinney explained this does not take into account how many roads are at the service life of zero. At that point, he said, the preventative measures are not possible.

Samantha Pidde can be contacted at

This Week's Circulars