The Gainesville City Council voted Tuesday to approve a street resurfacing project that will move forward without help from the Department of Transportation.
Without an originally promised $80,000 from the DOT’s Local Assistance Road Program, this year’s resurfacing project will be paid for from sales taxes and the city’s capital improvements fund.
The council’s Tuesday vote authorizes the city’s Public Works Department to pay Baldwin Paving Co. $617,000 to repair portions of 13 streets.
Originally, the city had planned to resurface 15 streets, but the cuts to DOT funding forced the city to scale down the project.
As a result, planned repairs for Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from its intersection with E.E. Butler Parkway to Chestnut Street and another 0.423 miles of repaving on Lakemont Drive will have to wait for now.
Lakemont and Martin Luther King were cut for different reasons, said interim Public Works Director David Dockery, but both would have required extensive and expensive preparatory work that would have put the project over budget.
Both roads eventually will be resurfaced, Dockery said.
"At this point and time, it’s just simply a matter of budget restraints," Dockery said.
The Public Works Department removed Martin Luther King from the current project because the city may have another way to fund its repairs, Dockery said. The street may be eligible for the DOT’s new State Aid Grant program, which would fund a maximum of $750,000 of roadwork in Gainesville if the city received the grant.
"We’re simply looking at another funding source for that particular road," Dockery said.
City officials had decided to pull the repairs on Lakemont Drive from the project list before the DOT pulled its Local Assistance Road Project funding.
Repaving that road would have required expensive patchwork that would have put the project over budget even with the DOT’s help.
"We do plan on eventually resurfacing Lakemont. It’s just that it won’t be in this round of resurfacing," Dockery said.
Since the paving project is weather dependent — asphalt must be put down in warmer weather in order to adhere properly — there is no set time frame for the resurfacing project, Dockery said.
"We might start as early as the next few weeks, weather dependent, or it may have to wait until early spring," Dockery said. "We hope that we can go ahead and get started on them, though, before it gets too cold."