The Bulloch County commissioners last week awarded a $1.44 million contract for the resurfacing this summer to early fall of not quite 11 miles of paved road segments in the county.
They also heard a citizen’s questions and an update from the county engineer about the longest stretch of Bulloch County dirt road slated for original paving this year, a nearly two-mile segment of Hood Road. Those two miles of new pavement construction are expected to cost nearly as much as all 10.82 miles of resurfacing.
Each year the county government pairs a large portion of its Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant, or LMIG, from the Georgia Department of Transportation with cash from Bulloch’s own Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or T-SPLOST, and spends it on resurfacing previously paved roads. The multi-year repaving list was developed in part from a survey performed by a consulting firm in 2018 and 2019, County Engineer Brad Deal explained in a phone interview.
The consultants provided condition ratings on the roads.
“They basically rode all of the county paved roads with equipment that videos the roads as they ride them,” Deal said. “The video picks up cracks and potholes and things like that, so we can see which ones are the worst. But we also take into account the amount of traffic that’s using the roads … and complaints that we get from the public also.”
During their July 6 meeting, the commissioners unanimously awarded this year’s main resurfacing contact to Reeves Construction. Its offered price of $1,316,100 was the lowest base bid among the four companies that sought the contract.
The paving companies also bid on three add-on options for further resurfacing, and the county awarded one of these, for streets within Westover Subdivision, to Reeves for $127,000, also the lowest bid. That made the total contract price $1,443,100.
Deal’s estimate had been $1,552,211, so the cost coming in below that allowed for adding the one “alternate,” he said.
The streets in Westover are already owned and maintained by the county.
The repaving list
Road segments to be resurfaced include Clito Road for 4.81 miles from Brooklet-Leefield Road to State Route 24; Maria Sorrell Road for 2.08 miles from Lakeview Road to Kyle Sorrell Road; Youngblood Road for 1.4 miles from U.S. Highway 80 to Amanda Road; 0.73 mile of Amanda Road and Amanda Court from their end to U.S. 80; Old Register Road from the Statesboro city limits for 0.65 mile to Langston Chapel Road; 0.21 mile of Antler Drive from its end to Willow Hill Road; and 0.94 mile of Westover Subdivision streets beginning at Pulaski Road.
The city of Statesboro and the Old Register Tax Allocation District developers recently widened Old Register Road south from Veterans Memorial Parkway past The Clubhouse Family Entertainment Center as part of the TAD project. The county’s resurfacing of Old Register Road from there south to Langston Chapel Road is meant to match the condition of the new pavement, Deal confirmed. The city government has agreed to reimburse the county for a portion that is inside the city limits.
Completing all of the resurfacing list projects should take about four months, Deal said.
Other base bids for the resurfacing were $1,418,391 from Sikes Brothers Inc., $1,472,692 from Ellis Wood Contracting and $1,591,080 from McClendon Enterprises.
The county received $1,465,339 from the state in LMIG funds in the past fiscal year and budgeted $1,340,000 in T-SPLOST revenue for resurfacing. So a total of $2.8 million funding is available, or $1.36 million more than the $1.44 million needed for the general resurfacing contract with Reeves.
However, a plan to widen and resurface a portion of Old River Road South is being handled as a separate project and has not been advertised for bids yet, Deal noted.
The county also has a separate $121,021 contract with Blount Construction of Marietta to apply “high-density mineral bond” sealant, known by tradename HA5, to county-owned streets in three subdivisions – Sandalwood, Sweet Briar and High Cotton – as a “pavement preservation technique.” Additionally, some of the resurfacing money will go toward patching on various roads, Deal said.
Hood Road paving
Larry Cone, a resident of Hood Road, addressed the commissioners during the public comments time in last week’s meeting.
The nearly two-mile section of Hood Road between Pulaski Road and Parrish Road is the county’s longest stretch of current dirt road slated for paving this year. Some residents have been asking that it be paved and reminding county officials for years.
"I know that COVID-19 has hindered a lot of projects, but the people on my road, they're asking questions,” Cone said. “When will they see some movement, because I've been assured by the commissioner board that all the money is in place and everything is supposed to be a go?”
Chairman Roy Thompson called on Deal for an update.
“We are, I would say, 95% finished with the design for paving the road,” Deal said. “The only thing we have left to do is we have two drainage easements that we are working on getting right now.”
The easements would allow storm water that drains off the road to flow through ditches or culverts onto private land without the county having to own the property.
Otherwise, the county has already obtained all the right of way it needs for the project, Deal said. Acquiring it has taken several years.
Deal told the commissioners that if he “had to guess,” the project could be advertised for construction bids within the next month or two.
“I think we should be starting construction within a couple months,” he told the Statesboro Herald later last week. “It’s probably about a six-month project.”
Contractors for the county are currently finishing the paving of Miller Street Extension from Friendship Church Road to Colfax Station, plus Colfax Station Road itself and, in a separate project, High Point Circle, Deal noted. These were smaller projects than Hood Road.