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City orders repaving of 3+ miles of streets
Officials note $640,000 doesnt go far in asphalt
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At least three miles of Statesboro’s streets, and a little more, are scheduled to be resurfaced this year at a cost of up to $644,078.

Ellis Wood Contracting, based in Statesboro, submitted the lower of two bids to repave and repair 2.95 miles of streets included in the city’s bid request. The other bidder was Sikes Brothers. Ellis Wood’s bid of $569,800 covered resurfacing projects on 11 streets and street segments, each less than half a mile long.

But in presenting the annual resurfacing bid results to City Council, the city Engineering Division asked permission to spend up to the originally budgeted amount, $644,078, to have Ellis Wood resurface additional street sections. This takes unit prices from the original bid and extends them to other projects.

“This time the bid came in about $75,000 below our budget amount. … So we could do a good bit more resurfacing with the extra $75,000 that we have available, probably about another half mile or so,” City Engineer Brad Deal told the council Tuesday morning.

He noted that Wood’s company recently completed the resurfacing of West Parrish Street and said city officials were pleased with the results. That project carried a $187,424 price tag.

Ellis Wood Contracting also handled the repaving on Savannah Avenue last year, but as a subcontractor to Southeastern Civil Inc. on that multifaceted $1.85 million project, which also included water and sewer lines, traffic islands, crosswalks and a set of new traffic signals.

Sikes Brothers had captured the largest share of roughly $600,000 spent on scheduled resurfacing of other Statesboro streets in 2016.

 

Streets affected

On a motion from Councilman Phil Boyum seconded by Councilman Jeff Yawn, the council Tuesday unanimously approved the 2017 resurfacing contract with Ellis Wood, plus the allowance up to $644,078.

The biggest section to be resurfaced from the original bid list is nine-tenths of a mile of North Main Street from Parrish Street to Fletcher Drive. Pitt-Moore Road, which extends just over four-tenths of a mile from Fair Road to Gentilly Road, is to be leveled, resurfaced and striped. So is Debbie Drive, which runs about four-tenths of a mile from North Main Street to Aldred Avenue.

Shorter streets and segments on the resurfacing list are Wilburn Circle from East Main to Wilburn Road; Sharpe Street from North Main to Oak Street; Hendrix Street from West Main to Denmark Street; Ridgewood Drive from its end to Aldred Avenue; Denmark Street from Johnson Street to Ivory Street; Wendwood Drive from Bel-Lane Avenue to Gentilly; and Landfill Road from its gate to the end. “Spot repair” on Buckhead Drive at Brannen Drive is also included.

Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant, or LMIG, funds from the Georgia Department of Transportation will supply about $274,000 for this year’s resurfacing, Deal said. About $320,000 of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds will also be applied to the project total. About $50,000, to cover repair of Landfill Road, will come from the solid waste disposal revenues, he said.

 

‘Forty years’

Statesboro has 121 miles of city streets, Deal said in answer to a question from Mayor Jan Moore. She also asked how often a street should be resurfaced. He said every 15 to 20 years would be ideal, but that the need depends on the street and the traffic. City Manager Randy Wetmore said even 15-20 years is longer than many street surfaces last, and Deal agreed.

“At three miles a year, that’s 40 years for 120 miles,” Moore said. “So, if you need to be resurfacing every 15 to 20 years, we’re behind. … The only reason I bring that up is I think it’s important for folks to understand why we’re not out just resurfacing streets all the time, because it’s phenomenally expensive and we have a lot of them.”

Some of the projects go deeper than resurfacing, noted Deputy City Manager Robert Cheshire.

“It’s some additional work,” he said. “They have to prepare the road before you can even resurface, and that’s because we’re not resurfacing them often enough.”

This adds to costs and reduces the mileage that can be repaved each year, he said.

The state Department of Transportation, with some federal help, is repaving Northside Drive, a part of U.S. Highway 80, and is also responsible for Fair Road, a part of Georgia Highway 67. So that work does not come out of the city’s budget, Moore noted.

But the federal and state routes aren’t included in the 121 miles, Cheshire said.

Infrastructure maintenance is an issue Moore and council members say they want to address in a strategic plan for the city. The council in February contracted the Atlanta-based consulting firm AMEC Foster Wheeler to guide the development of a plan with five-year and 10-year components.

“One of the things I want us to look at in that is what we will absolutely need to pave, when we need to do it and what we’re going to be facing to do that, because one of our key responsibilities is maintaining infrastructure in city,” Moore said. “Safety and infrastructure, those are the two biggies.”

 

Alcohol judge chosen

Also Tuesday, the council unanimously appointed Tom A. Peterson IV, an attorney based in Vidalia, as administrative judge for hearings on alleged infractions of businesses’ alcoholic beverage licenses.

The terms for Peterson’s services are those the Statesboro Herald reported in Tuesday’s edition. He will charge the city $850 for each court day lasting up to five hours, including two hours of expected round-trip travel time.

For any time outside the five-hour limit, such as he might need to draft written rulings or responses to license holders’ appeals, he will bill the city $185 per hour.

Peterson is expected to hold hearings once every two months at first, Wetmore said. He projected a basic annual cost of $5,100, which would be the total for six court days at $850 each.

Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.

 

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