After a decades-long wait and several obstacles, the city of Perry officially opened a road extension that will offer an alternative entrance for large trucks.
Ball Street now extends from Tucker Road to Larry Walker Parkway.
The $4.9 million project was funded with 2001 and 2006 special purpose local options sales tax proceeds as well as a federal grant, and came in early and under budget, according to a press release about the opening last week.
Ball Street Extension is the result of much collaboration and recognition of the need for improved access for truck traffic to support economic development and growth within Perry, according to the release.
The project received a $4.1 million allocation from the 2001 SPLOST. A $1 million direct federal appropriation, $119,000 in the 2006 SPLOST and $27,800 from the citys gas system revenues completed funding for the project, according to the news release.
The project was said to be needed because large trucks were slowing downtown traffic as they cut through to reach Tolleson Lumber on the south side of town.
By having an alternate route for large trucks to access businesses in that area of town, the project will ultimately save Perry and Houston taxpayers on maintenance of existing city streets and roads elsewhere, Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said in the news release.
The release notes the project is known for a bridge that was completed before the roadway was extended.
Other obstacles over the years included obtaining right-of-ways, issues with the federal grant and scheduling of the sales tax money.
In February, council approved the final contract for the road extension, predicting the project would finish sometime in 2013.
It has been completed early and about $500,000 under budget, according to the news release.
Despite its long and storied start, the opening . . . will yield hoped-for results of increasing access, promoting opportunities for business growth and reducing through-truck traffic within downtown Perry, the release said.
Telegraph archives were used in this report. To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.