Thursday, July 22, 2010

Work Near on Massive Street Improvements - Some in Downtown District

Work is expected to begin in a few weeks on the first phase of a massive resurfacing program that will mean better streets and more sidewalks all over town.

The second phase--which includes streets that also need new water lines, sewer lines or storm drainage--will be tackled later.

The Fred Smith Company was awarded a $854,412 contract this week to begin the Phase One work.

"We regret any inconvenience this might cause for our residents, but our streets have needed work for quite a while," said Mayor Jody McLeod. "We're happy that we're able to get this done at a time when we can get good value for our dollars."

The work is being financed through $3 million in bond money set aside for streets in a recent issue that also raised $4 million for parks. The bonds were approved by voters a couple of years ago, with the streets portion getting nearly 80 percent of the vote. The engineering part of the project is almost complete, and officials expect to put the project out for competitive bids later this month.

Town Manager Steve Biggs said streets that need simple resurfacing will be on "a faster track" than those that require utility upgrades as well. A few of the town's worst streets won't get help in this round of work, though. Public Works & Utilities Director Tim Simpson said rebuilding those streets "would eat up the budget" quickly and severely narrow the scope of the work. Instead, he said, the town's worst streets will be upgraded later as special projects.

For a complete rundown of which streets are included in the two phases of work, please click here: Phase One   Phase Two

For a look at streets with a rating of "Poor to Very Poor" that will be included in special projects later, please click here: Poor to Very Poor

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