City paving project at 56 percent

Published 6:22 pm Saturday, May 21, 2016

Since work on Brookhaven’s paving project began on Jan. 29, 56 percent of the 77 streets have been paved. Engineer Ryan Holmes believes that number will rise to approximately 70 percent by the end of the month.

At a recent Board of Aldermen meeting, Holmes updated the board on the progress made on the city’s $3,094,449 paving plan.

“Paving is going well,” Holmes said. “We’re continuing to make good progress. The last time I updated y’all at the end of April, they were about 41 percent complete, now they’re about 56 percent. They are moving along quite well. They didn’t work a couple of days last week. They had to move out and go to another job that they had to work in. Of course they told us that would happen when we started.”

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Holmes predicted that the paving on South First Street would be completed by the end of the week, weather permitting.

“They’re going to finish South First Street and move back on Chickasaw Street, West Minnesota and South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive,” Holmes said. “That’s kind of their expected path and beyond that I don’t have a great idea.”

The project has not exceeded the budget laid out by the board up to this point, Holmes said.

“We’re right on budget,” Holmes said. “Nothing outstanding that is alarming to us as far as money goes. The quantities and materials are working. In a few areas we may be a little over, but there are some that we’re a little under so they’re balancing out really well. To be almost 60 percent complete and not have a major issue yet, that doesn’t mean something won’t happen, but that’s how we want it to go.”

Dickerson & Bowen, the project contractor, has until the end of July to complete 100 percent of the paving, Holmes said.

“Contrary to the way city paving has been carried out in past years, the mayor and Board of Aldermen embarked upon a much larger paving project in 2016,” city officials said in a letter. “In order to provide a systematic plan of assessing and grading streets by professionals, the city hired Dungan Engineering to evaluate and present to the board a plan to improve our major thoroughfares and poor or failed auxiliary roads.”

Engineers evaluated every street in the city, and officials said paving funds have been directed to those streets that were found to be in the worst condition. Through this process, the board was able to more than triple the number of miles ordinarily paved.

“The goal of the city board is to get all our city streets in great condition,” officials said in a statement. “Weather permitting, your street will be paved as soon as possible if it is on the 2016 list.”