By NATHAN GREGORY
The city started its fall wave of street improvement projects this week, which includes patching and overlaying the entirety of Critz Street, Eutaw Street and Sherwood Road.
The maintenance will be funded through $101,852 originally set aside for rebuilding Central Avenue but revised to overlay Critz Street and 2012-13 fiscal year budget money.
Columbus-based Falcon Contracting, which recently completed the city’s summer set of street improvements, will also oversee the fall projects.
The overall estimated cost of the project is $281,429. Nearly half that amount, $124,694, is allocated toward Critz Street renovations. The approximate price tag provided in the board of aldermen’s July 3 e-packet for work on Eutaw Street is $34,874, while $72,761 is dedicated toward Sherwood Road improvements. The remainder of the overall balance is budgeted for asphalt milling, testing and contingency costs.
City Engineer Edward Kemp said base repairs on all three streets should be complete at the end of the week. He said he believes the project should be finished by the end of the month. The fall set of improvements are the last in the Priority 5 list of projects in the street improvement program.
“It will probably take a day or two days at most for each street to be overlaid and prepped. If the weather is cooperative we can finish all three streets in a week to seven business days,” Kemp said. “It’s just a matter of the contractor’s schedule because he has other projects as well.”
Improvements on Eutaw Street were originally planned to take place next year, as specified on the city’s most revised version of its capital improvements plan. Tackling as much of that list as possible now while construction season is not at its peak usually helps the city complete projects for less money, Kemp said.
“The board wanted to … go ahead and tackle some of the roads (scheduled for) next summer this fall. We’ve not done this in the past but there are various reasons why it makes sense,” he said. “Overlay season can extend through November and parts of December if it’s warm enough. Typically the fall is not a peak season as the summer would be. It was a hope that eventually we would get better prices due to the amount of work on the market at the time. The weather is typically conducive to overlays in the fall season, so that shouldn’t be an issue, and the funding was available because we started a new fiscal year.”
Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas said Critz Street in particular has long been in dire need of repair.
“Critz has been in awful shape for a while. It’s a heavily traveled road — one of our prime east-west connectors in North Starkville,” Dumas said. “Now that we’ve opened up the Garrard Road extension it’s taken a good bit of the traffic off of Critz, so it’s a perfect time to repair it and rebuild it now that traffic is wider. I think it will be a big improvement for that area.”
Kemp said all 10 of the summer road improvement projects were completed on schedule and the city should have a head start on the Priority 6 projects scheduled for next year.
“Obviously there are a lot of needs for street improvements. I think as funds become available the sooner you can invest in roadways and improve them from a maintenance standpoint, the less damage they will incur if they stayed in their existing state,” Kemp said.