Street paving in works

Published 6:00 am Saturday, February 10, 2001

A long-awaited street paving project involving main citythoroughfares took a major step toward reality earlier this weekwith a decision to seek bids on the work, city officials said.

Bids on an estimated $500,000-$650,000 First and Second Streetpaving project are scheduled to be opened March 16. The mayor andboard of aldermen voted to advertise for bids at Tuesday’smeeting.

Once the project is awarded, completion is expected to take fourto six months, said City Engineer Carl Ray Furr.

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“We’ll probably get it done in the summer, and we’ll be lookinggood,” Furr said.

Beginning at the Monticello Street intersection, the projectwill include paving South First Street to the city limits. Alsofrom the Monticello Street intersection, Second Street will bepaved to Main Street.

“Both of them really need it,” said Jimmy Furlow, city trafficcoordinator. “And doing it with the funding they’re using, that’sgoing to really benefit the city.”

Furr said the project will use federal transportation dollarsthat are directed to states and then allocated to cities based on afunding formula.

The project will also involve curb and gutter improvementsaround First Baptist Church. Furr said the work will address somedrainage concerns.

“It’s a problem there, and we’re going to redo the whole area,”Furr said.

The street project has been a long time in reaching its currentstate. Officials said members of previous administrations wereworking to get it done while they were in office.

“Everybody has really pushed it,” Furlow said.

However, Furr said the project was held up in “bureaucratic redtape” over several engineering and planning related issues. Oneexample he mentioned was addressing handicapped accessibilityconcerns in relation to road conditions.

“We’re going to really improve it, but we’re working with sometight right-of-way,” Furr said. “That caused us some difficulty inputting it together.”

During street work this year, Furlow said city crews paved asection of Main Street that was to be included but was omittedduring planning. The Main Street work will tie in at Second Streetand provide new paving to the northern city limits.

“The city has already done its part as far as what we could,”Furlow said. “Essentially, we’ll have a newly-overlayed street fromthe city limits on South First Street to the city limits on Secondand Main Streets.”