Reinstatement of state paving program to benefit Macon

Cracks snake along the uneven pavement of Richmond Hill Court, a short cul-de-sac in a Tucker Road subdivision.

The street was on a list of roads the city of Macon submitted to the state last year for possible resurfacing.

But because of funding issues within the Department of Transportation, the Local Assistance Road Program, which helps cities and counties with street resurfacing, was suspended.

Now after a one-year hiatus, the state is reinstating the program, said Crystal Paulk-Buchanan, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

During the most recent legislative session, lawmakers set aside $60 million from motor vehicle fuel tax funds for the program, she said.

Officials plan to release the funds in two phases — one in the fall and another in the spring — to try to work in some resurfacing projects that didn’t receive funding last year, Paulk-Buchanan said. Typically, funds are released just once a year.

City and Bibb County engineers said they rely heavily on the funds for resurfacing roads.

“Most of our paving has come from DOT funds,” Dave Fortson, assistant county engineer, said.

Without the program last year, no roads within the city limits were resurfaced, said Danny Tavakol, an engineer with the city of Macon.

“We always have something to fix because most of our roads need resurfacing,” he said.

Typically, the city submits about 30 roads each year, and about two-thirds of them receive funding, he said.

Road selections are based on need and availability of funds, according to the DOT.

To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 744-4345.