Covington officials were surprised to discover the state had enough funding to resurface three city roads, despite the state’s severe budget crisis.
Every year, the Georgia Department of Transportation resurfaces around $30 million of local roads across the state, those in the worst condition, as part of the Local Assistance Road Program (LARP). This year, however, with state revenues disappearing, LARP money was expected to be unavailable, but as Covington prepared its LARP application for 2010, it received word that three streets would be resurfaced in 2009.
GDOT will be resurfacing Moon Circle, between Capes Drive and Swanee Lane; Lee Street, between Stallings Street and Clark Street; and Brown Street between Ivy Street and Reynolds Street. Barry Wood, GDOT District 2 State Aid Coordinator, said the project will be open for bids in October, and the estimated cost for the three streets is $32,822.60 for 0.51 miles of construction. The mileage for repaired streets is based on city or county population, the amount of paved roads in the city/county and the amount of money available for LARP.
Covington recently sent in its 2010 LARP requests, which initially included the three streets being repaired as well as 40 other streets.
Covington Transportation Manager Billy Skinner said the city evaluates all roads and selects the ones in the worst shape. The state receives the city’s list and then does its own rating of the streets before deciding which ones to resurface with the available money. According to the state’s list, the roads in the worst shape besides the three already mentioned, are sections of Taylor Street, Hartsock Drive, Green Street, Petty Street and Jackson Street.
Skinner said that according to the cities rating system, which goes from 1 to 5, with 1 being the worst, all of the 1 and 2-rated streets have been resurfaced and now the state and city are working on streets rated 3 and above.
Although GDOT is resurfacing streets, Skinner said the declining state budget has affected the program, because Covington used to have a mile of streets repaved, now they generally get around half a mile repaved.
In other street news, Skinner said the city has been leveling hexagon tiles on the square, taking out root systems of dead trees and putting down new tiles where necessary. He said the tiles were placed on the square about 15 years ago and maintenance occurs pretty often, but this latest effort is one of the more major overhauls of the tiles.
Skinner said the city has received positive feedback from the community about its sidewalk rehabilitation program, which repaired sidewalks along: Church, Conyers, East, Emory, Floyd, Lee, Mill, Monticello and Washington streets and on Newton Drive and U.S. Highway 278.
The city hasn’t received any positive or negative feedback about the new stoplight at Turner Lake Road and Washington Street, but Skinner said it seems to be functioning well.