Crews getting to work on new paving project for city

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 7, 2008

Motorists driving around town for the last few days might havenoticed crews working on areas that for many years have been badlyin need of new pavement.

City Director of Public Works Steve Moreton said the paving isin some areas is such that he could only categorize it in oneway.

“Rough,” he said. “We’re dealing with areas with a lot of watercutouts and things over the years.”

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Moreton said most of the areas he’s dealing with on therepavement project could have gone almost 20 years without beingoverlaid.

“I’ve been here 18 years and I don’t think they’ve been overlaidsince I’ve been here,” he said.

Mayor Bob Massengill and aldermen developed a list of criticalareas that needed paving and determined cost estimates. The crewsbegan work last week.

“They started Thursday and got a good bit done Thursday andFriday,” Massengill said.

Each alderman was alotted $40,000 toward the cost of criticalrepaving in their wards, while Massengill and Alderman at-large LesBumgarner divided up their $40,000 allotments between thewards.

“I was just glad to help everyone else out,” Bumgarner said.”Mainly what we did was make it so they were able to finish theirprojects.”

Bumgarner said the city tries to do a little repaving every yearin order to keep up with the times.

“I think it’s critical from the standpoint that you don’t wantto fall behind. You have to do some every year and if you don’t,it’ll be a situation where you can’t possibly catch up,” hesaid.

Moreton said Thursday and Friday’s progress covered parts of OldWesson Road, Eastgate Drive and East Cherokee Street. This weekcrews will also work toward paving parts of East Chippewa Street,Carter Street, St. George Street, Bryant Street, South JacksonStreet, Comstock Street, Field Lark Lane, Pandora Street, LanceAlworth Drive, Brookman Drive, Gaston Trail, North Jackson Street,Manufacturer’s Boulevard and Vanzie Street.

Bumgarner said he’s excited about the progress, but added it’simportant to continue to work toward making all the city’s roadsmore drivable.

“We took some good steps, but there’s still a lot more thatneeds to be done,” he said. “Paving’s getting so expensive, butyou’ve got to do it.”

Moreton said it’s hard to tell in the light of potential weatherand equipment situations exactly when the project will becompleted, but that he hopes it will be a relatively shorttime.

“I hope to finish up in week or so, but it’s hard to tell atthis point,” Moreton said.

Another road betterment project the city is working toward isputting together a crew to specialize in filling potholes.

“We’re working on a pothole crew that will go around and takecare of the potholes before they become really bad,” Bumgarnersaid. “We’re trying to get somebody qualified who can do that.”