Houston approves regional road-work agreement

wcrenshaw@macon.comApril 16, 2013 

Local governments in Houston and Pulaski counties are joining forces in hopes of getting the most out of state funding for road resurfacing.

The Houston County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement Tuesday in which the governments will combine their road projects to be put out for a single bid. Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said the hope is to get a better price through volume.

Participating governments include Pulaski County and the cities of Warner Robins, Centerville, Perry and Hawkinsville. Those governments are planning to approve the same agreement.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for a regional approach, and any time we can do that, it’s a good thing,” Commissioner Larry Thomson said.

Each year the state gives cities and counties funding for road resurfacing, called the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant. Until this year the state would manage the projects, combining those from different governments into one bid. This year, however, the state is just handing over the money and leaving it up to the governments to bid out the work and manage it.

It gives local governments more control, Stalnaker has said previously, but maybe less value. That’s why he invited other governments to join with Houston in bidding out their resurfacing projects.

Houston would have done about five miles of resurfacing with the state money. The combined contract includes about 33 miles of resurfacing. Stalnaker said that should get the county a better price than if it had simply bid out five miles, and the end result is that he believes the county will be able to do about nine miles of resurfacing.

The bids will be based on a cost per ton of asphalt, so each government would pay based on the amount of paving it wants to do. Stalnaker said ultimately the hope is to get more paving done with the same amount of money.

He expects the contract will be awarded sometime in May.

Houston’s grant is $549,553 and it has to put up a 30-percent match, which is $164,866 coming from the local option sales tax. All or parts of the following roads are scheduled for resurfacing: Cohen Walker Drive, Granville Street, Harner Road, Wimbish Way, Wexford Circle, Peachtree Boulevard, South Spring Drive, Horseshoe Drive, Covey Drive, Jennifer Boulevard, Water Drive, Cardinal Ridge, Tanager Lane, Falcon Crest and Cliff Point.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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