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Road & Bridge

Responsible for the maintenance of county roads, bridges, signs, ditches, culverts, shoulders and equipment; supervises the planning, design and construction of road and bridge improvements; reviews and implements federal, state and local rules/regulations covering transportation, storm drainage, subdivision development, floodplain management, land surveying, and other aspects of public works; manages right-of-way acquisitions and roadway construction projects; evaluates land use and traffic patterns and establishes long-range plans.

Kansas statute 79-1947 authorizes the Board of County Commissioners to fix a rate of a levy annually for construction, reconstruction, improvements, repair, maintenance and acquisitions of rights-of-way for county roads and bridges. Money collected for road maintenance and construction is placed in the Road & Bridge Fund. The Road & Bridge Fund is under the direct supervision of the Director of Road and Bridge. You may reach him at the following address:


Darren Fishel
3424 Airport Road
Salina, KS 67401
Phone: 785-826-6525
Fax: 785-826-6524

To contact the County Engineer:  

Neil Cable, P.E.
3424 Airport Road
Salina KS  67401


Monitor performance of planned projects and complete them within the approved budget.
Respond to service requests in a courteous and timely manner with priority given to requests with public safety implications.

  • Provide and encourage job training to enhance productivity.
  • Efficient and high quality maintenance of the county transportation system.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive transportation program.
  • Efficient management of projects, equipment, materials and operations costs.
  • Preserve and develop new revenue resources for improvement and maintenance of the county transportation infrastructure.

Road and Bridge Maintenance/Replacement

  • Plan and complete road/bridge projects such as grading, patching, sealing, ditch cleaning, overlays and gravel surfacing.
  • Repair and replacement of drainage structures.

Traffic Control System:

  • Signage inventory.
  • Traffic counts and speed studies.
  • All traffic control devices shall comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).


  • Work with citizens regarding hydrological and topographic data for platting of property.
  • Plan engineering projects for road maintenance, culvert replacement, asphalt overlays and roadside drainage.
  • Conduct inspection program for all bridge in accordance to KDOT guidelines.
  • Complete surveys for road improvements and right-of-way location.


  • Prepare construction contracts, review procedures of bids and recommend award.
  • Monitor department spending.

Road and Bridge Maintenance:
Preventive Maintenance - Sealing Program

Capital expenditures are necessary to meet the needs of Saline County residents for construction and maintenance of the county's vital infrastructure. Saline County is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of 11 miles of concrete roads, 152 miles of asphalt roads, 728 miles of gravel roads, 205 miles of earthen roads, 296 bridges, 800 to 1,000 culverts under public right-of-ways, and over 2,000 culverts under driveway entrances. 

The Road & Bridge Department's Preventive Maintenance-Sealing Program is a continuous four-year plan, first implemented in 1992, for sealing and patching the 152 miles of asphalt roads in the county. All asphalt roads in the county were evaluated and priorities were established for annual sealing and patching. As part of the evaluation, some roads were scheduled for reconstruction and others were scheduled for a hot mix overlay. The basic reason for the establishment of this program is the need for good maintenance of the asphalt roads. Proper maintenance provides a safe and economical road system.

Of the 152 miles of asphalt roads in the county, approximately 40 miles are scheduled each year for a seal coat. As part of the program, high volume asphalt roads are scheduled for a hot mix overlay rather than a seal coat. Roads that receive hot mix overlays are scheduled for a 6-year cycle of surface maintenance. Good maintenance of asphalt roads is more economical than reconstruction of roads when maintenance is not performed annually. This program is critical to providing a safe travelway for residents of the county because it addresses the ongoing deterioration that accompanies all hard surface roads.

The Preventive Maintenance - Sealing Program is important because rain, snow, heat and traffic loads constantly age asphalt pavement and early damage can go undetected. While an asphalt road might perform adequately for many years without much maintenance, it eventually reaches a point where it begins to deteriorate at an accelerating rate, reaching a point where routine maintenance cannot reverse the damage. At this point, there is no alternative but costly replacement. As the Asphalt Pavement Life Cycle graph depicts, maintenance costs for asphalt roads can be kept under control better by repairing the roads while they are still in relatively good condition rather than reconstructing them after they have failed. The graph conveys the idea that spending $1 on asphalt maintenance while the road is in relatively good condition makes more sense than spending $4 to $5 to reconstruct the same road after it has failed only a short time later.

The Asphalt Pavement Life Cycle graph shows that maintenance involving a pavement seal coat every four years reduces expenses by 60% over 20 years as opposed to performing no maintenance. After performing the four-year cycle for 20 years, a two inch hot mix asphalt overlay will be applied which will delay the need for reconstruction. The four year sealing cycle then resumes for 12 more years before reconstruction is necessary. Total reconstruction will be required after approximately 32 years not because of pavement failure, but because the roadway design will no longer meet traffic volume and safety requirements.

Bridge Construction Program
The Road & Bridge Department prepares a five-year Bridge Construction Program to plan long-term for replacement of bridges. This program involves Saline County bridges for which the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will provide 80% of the costs for construction and inspection. Saline County pays all of the design costs and 20% of the construction and inspection costs. The purpose of this five-year program is to allow lead time for plan development, scheduling projects according to priority, and working within the limits of available funding. In developing this program, the Public Works Department considers replacement, rehabilitation and possible closure; sufficiency rating, bridge appraisal, load capacity, and safety; and traffic volumes, community service and connecting link. These factors were used to evaluate the structures in relation to the level of service they provide on the county road system. Some bridges in the Bridge Construction Program are also included in the Bridge and Culvert Replacement Program.

Bridge and Culvert Replacement Program
In 1996 the County Commission approved the first year (1997) of a new five-year Bridge and Culvert Replacement Program to supplement the five-year Bridge Construction Program. While the Bridge Construction Program includes only those bridges for which KDOT will provide 80% funding, the Bridge and Culvert Replacement Program includes a broader list of bridges and culverts. The Bridge and Culvert Replacement Program is funded from 2-mills of the county property tax levy. This funding must be re-authorized by the County Commission annually. Following a thorough review of county structures, a five-year priority list for bridges and culverts was established. Over time, the Bridge and Culvert Replacement Program will provide a major step toward improving the county's bridges and culverts.

Total Cost Bidding
To address the high purchase prices and unpredictable repair and maintenance costs involved with purchasing motor graders, the Road & Bridge Department uses an innovative purchasing method called Atotal cost bidding.@ Total cost bidding allows the department to maximize the dollars spent to perform necessary maintenance on sand and gravel roads at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. Since the program was initiated in 1990, it has reduced the actual costs of motor graders from $13.76 per hour to $9.84 per hour including depreciation.

Total cost bidding requires dealers to bid total costs for a machine over a defined period of time; it provides an alternative to low-bid equipment purchasing. Total cost bidding provides three guarantees:

  • Maximum Repair Costs: The bidder guarantees repair costs will not exceed a specified amount over the 5-year contract period.
  • Maximum Scheduled Maintenance: The guarantee assures that periodic lubrication and maintenance costs will not exceed a specified amount for the 5-year period.
  • Minimum Repurchase Price: The bidder guarantees a minimum repurchase price for the equipment at the end of the contract period.

Saline County's experience with total cost bidding has been good. The first total cost bid motor grader purchased by Saline County was in 1990 for a Caterpillar 140G. In 1991, a second motor grader was purchased, a John Deere 770BH, and in 1992 a third machine was purchased. All machines have completed the 5-year contract period and have been replaced. The actual operational cost per hour including depreciation was $8.38 for the 1990 machine, $9.98 for the 1991 machine, and $10.16 for the 1992 machine.