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Gainesville puts city resurfacing project on hold

Council wants to do more research

POSTED: October 12, 2008 5:01 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

Forrest Avenue is one of the Gainesville streets proposed for resurfacing with money from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

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The Gainesville City Council decided to wait on a vote Tuesday that would have authorized the Marietta-based Baldwin Paving Co. to begin needed improvements on approximately 2.83 miles of 14 city streets.


The project will go on, City Manager Bryan Shuler said, but not until city officials evaluate how to best approach the project, which is supported with state department of transportation dollars.


The $687,500 project is mainly funded with revenues from the special purpose local option sales tax, but the DOT contributes some money through an annual program that helps local governments pay for street resurfacing.


Through the program, the DOT will reimburse the city for $80,000 of the project cost to pay for the actual repaving of city streets. To receive the state money, the city must pay for and complete DOT-mandated preparatory work - milling and patching - on each street before it is repaved, Shuler said.


Some of the streets slated for improvements this fiscal year include sections of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Laurel Springs Drive, Airport Parkway, Forrest Avenue and Bradford Street Extension.


Shuler asked the City Council to wait to vote on the resurfacing project Tuesday until he and the city's Public Works Department could reevaluate the project and weigh the city's needs with the DOT's requirements.

 


He says some of the DOT's requirements for rebuilding some of the streets listed in the project - streets like Kensington Way, Kensington Place and Sylvan Park Drive - may be excessive considering the traffic on those streets.


"Some of their requirements will involve some ... fairly significant patching on roads that are not that heavily traveled," Shuler said. "... Many of those roads are just neighborhood streets; they don't get significant volumes of traffic or heavy-duty type traffic on them so we want to make sure that if the majority of the money (funding the project) is local money that we're meeting local needs, not needs that someone else might see."


Shuler said there is no conflict with the DOT over the projects, but the city needs to evaluate how to best use the city's money and the DOT's money while making necessary improvements on city streets.


The roads still will be repaved, Shuler said, but maybe not all of them will be rebuilt with the DOT's help.


"Obviously everybody is looking closely at where they're spending money, and if we're spending money unnecessarily on a road project, we don't want to be doing that. We want to make sure that we're only spending what needs to be spent to get the job done that needs to be done," Shuler said.


Shuler said he expects that the resurfacing project will be back on the agenda for the City Council's Oct. 21 meeting.


"We've got a low bidder out there waiting to see; we don't want to hold them up any longer than we need to, but we want to make a good fiduciary decision for the taxpayer," Shuler said.



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