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Hall cities team up on paving effort
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Oakwood is leading the way in seeking bids for a repaving contract that would also serve Clermont in North Hall and South Hall County neighbors Flowery Branch and Braselton. The four governments plan to accept bids until April 10.

Some of the projects are ultra-tiny — such as Flowery Branch repaving 211 feet of downtown’s Church Street — but officials say it’s the joint effort that counts.

“I think it’s a way to work in unity and work with one contractor,” Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said.

Between them, they hope to take care of 3.7 miles of streets. Oakwood has the most miles, at 1.39, and the largest project — 1.15 miles of McClure Drive, which juts off Main Street in the downtown area.

There are plenty of other projects in highly traveled areas, such as Railroad Avenue and Gainesville Street in Flowery Branch and Spout Springs Road in Braselton.

Clermont wants to improve a quarter-mile stretch of King Street, which runs through downtown and between U.S. 129/Cleveland Highway and Ga. 283/Clermont Highway.

“I think the effort will serve the citizens well,” Brown said. “You end up with one period of time when you have a lot of construction in the cities, then you’re done for the year.”

Plus, the cities hope to save money by packaging the projects together in a sort of “economy of scale,” Brown said.

Cost savings have been hard to judge because the cities typically haven’t gotten a price for doing the work separately.

“It has saved time and money, and we appreciate Oakwood for coordinating it,” Flowery Branch City Manager Bill Andrew said. “So far, it’s been a good program.

“We’re in pretty good shape (with road conditions). We’re doing a lot less this year than we did last year and next year will be more about staying ahead.”

Oakwood has teamed up with area cities on a joint paving effort for the past few years.

In general, the work has consisted of milling, patching and light grading — nothing particularly, major, except for one past project that involved “full depth reclamation,” a process of recycling asphalt already in place to repave a stretch of road.

Helping to fund the projects are the cities’ shares of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant. The DOT sets aside a portion of gas tax receipts to pay for the grant program, with this year’s amount at about $115 million statewide.

The state program “supplements this effort, but in order to do the work, generally the cities are using sales tax or general fund dollars,” Brown said.

In this year’s paving effort, the contractor must complete the work by July 31, bid documents state.

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