By NATHAN GREGORY
The city is preparing to start its summer run of street improvement program projects, which city engineer Edward Kemp says he expects to be taking place throughout the month and into mid-August.
Streets on the list to be patched and overlaid are Bonnie Road, Cottonwood Street, Hilliard Street, Mallory Drive, Maxwell Street, McKee Street, Ofahoma Drive, Ward Drive, Yeates Street and Yellowjacket Drive. Yellowjacket Drive will also receive new striping.
Columbus-based Falcon Contracting will be doing the overlays. According to the street improvement program list Kemp developed, the projected total cost for this wave of overlay projects will cost $282,429.
A large portion of the projects are located in Ward 1. These include Cottonwood Street, Mallory Drive, McKee Street and Ward Drive. Bonnie Road is in Ward 5, while Maxwell Street is in Ward 4. The streets of Hilliard and Yeates are in Ward 7. Yellowjacket Drive divides Wards 3 and 7.
Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver said he is happy to see the much-needed improvements taking place, particularly on Cottonwood Street.
“We’re always going to have a need for street improvements. We’re past due on most of these. Cottonwood (Street) is a thoroughfare … that serves a little over 200 homes. It connects phase one and phase two of Green Oaks,” Carver said. “It could probably stand to be overlaid every time they do (improvements). Its (condition is) caused by the fact that there is a lot of area in that neighborhood where water stands every time it rains.”
Kemp said the roads are on the fifth phase of the city’s street improvement program.
“These roads are on our overall street program which was developed a few years ago based on need and we prioritized all the roads based on condition. We’re on year five, so we’re making good progress on that list,” Kemp said. “We’ve still got a lot of needs, but I applaud the board and mayor in their commitment to make street overlays and maintenance projects in roadways a priority.”
Kemp said road closures should not be an issue for most of the projects.
“We’ll maintain access for the roads throughout the project. There are only a few rare circumstances where we’ll actually need to close the road,” Kemp said. “When we start overlaying some of these roads, if there’s a way to detour or a secondary route, we definitely try to encourage that. It just makes it safer for the motorists and the workers.”