By NATHAN GREGORY
Two gravel roads on property annexed by the city of Starkville in 1998 are receiving a much needed facelift.
The city has contracted Okalona-based Ausbern Construction Company to put a cement surface on the remaining unpaved portion of Greta Lane in its entirety as well as several sections of Collier Road.
Several residents reside on Greta Lane, a road which also serves as an access point to the George M. Bryant Airport.
City Engineer Edward Kemp said a preliminary soil cementing of Greta Lane’s existing base has been completed.
“(Soil cementing involves) mixing Portland cement into the existing pavement base as well as some imported material. That cement and the base material need about seven days to cure. Right now we’re in the curing process. After that curing time is completed we will put a final wearing surface on top of the roadway, (which is a) double bituminous surface treatment … commonly known as chip seal. It’s pretty common in a lot of the county roadways. It will seal off the road … and it will be an all-weather surface,” Kemp said. “Before we approved (to surface Greta Lane), calling it a gravel road is probably being very generous. It was in really bad shape. A lot of the roadway would be under water during heavy rains.”
In addition to surfacing Greta Lane, the city has also improved drainage issues that contributed to flooding, Kemp said.
“We added some culverts and dredged the ditches, so I think during rain events it will now drain a lot better,” he said. “Surfacing the road is the big thing, but drainage is definitely a component of the project.”
Though not paving Collier Road in its entirety, Kemp said there are portions being fixed that are particularly problematic.
“There are five places on Collier Road, (and) you can tell real easily where those locations are. On Collier (Road) we have some really bad base failures. It was a roadway that was deteriorating really rapidly,” Kemp said.
Public Services Director Doug Devin said the city installed fire hydrants in the Greta Lane area in 2010 and set up sewer services there last year. There are homes left in the south end of the road he said do not yet have sewer service, but installing those services are included in the city’s capital improvements plan.
Public service workers are working on extending those services to the Collier Drive area, he said.
“We’re getting ready to run fire hydrants to the (Region VII) Community Counseling (Services) workshop on Collier Road, “ Devlin said. “That will be done by the end of the year. We’ll also have hydrants on the northern end of Rockhill Road and the western end of Butler Road.”
Greta Lane falls in Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk’s district. She said having the road paved will be a needed service to residents on that road.
“I think it’s very exciting that the last residential roads in the city … that have not gotten a hard surface are finally getting a hard surface,” Sistrunk said. “The end result will be something the residents can enjoy and the city can be proud of.