ALBANY — With the continued infusion of a dedicated tax for transportation projects, Dougherty County drivers will be able to drive on vastly improved roads.
The latest group of projects announced by the county will include resurfacing a total of 20 miles along 13 county-maintained roadways.
On Monday, the Dougherty County Commission approved a $2.63 million bid from Reeves Construction Co. of Albany to complete the project.
Funding will come from the annual local maintenance and improvement grant (LMIG) from the Georgia Department of Transportation in the amount of $435,823 and from local funds raised through the current countywide special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) and transportation special-purpose local-option sales taxes (T-SPLOST).
Dougherty County voters narrowly approved the T-SPLOST in March 2019, but the boost in road spending should be apparent as the asphalt hits the road.
The tax is expected to bring in $2 million over five years for resurfacing projects.
The rule of thumb is that roadways should be resurfaced every 15 years, a goal the county was not meeting prior to passage of the transportation sales tax.
“We were slowly falling behind on our resurfacing, so the T-SPLOST is really going to help,” Jeremy Brown, engineering manager for the Dougherty County Public Works Department, said.
With about 290 miles of county-maintained paved roadways, resurfacing 20 miles each year would put the department on track to meeting its goal.
Prior to passage of the 1% transportation tax, the county was earmarking about $300,000 each year toward resurfacing work.
The cost of resurfacing is about $100,000 or more per mile, Brown said.
The funds also will allow the county to tackle some of the roads that are in the worst shape. The bid awarded this week includes four roads that are in such poor condition that they will be handled through reclamation.
“Those roads are in such poor condition we have to rebuild them,” Brown said. “The roads that are having to have the reclamation done on them are some (with) heavy farm-equipment traffic, a lot of heavy traffic.”
Roads do not always reach that condition due to neglect, he said.
“Sometimes there are issues you don’t know about that tore them up, just something going on underneath the road you didn’t know about,” the engineer manager said.
The roads on the reclamation list include two miles of roadway in addition to the 20 miles being handled through the traditional resurfacing process.
The resurfacing projects approved include portions of Broach Avenue, Gaissert Road, Mud Creek Road, Nelms Road, Old Pretoria Road, Vanderbilt Drive, Williamsburg Road, Old Dawson Road, Morgan Street, Ironwood Court and Birchwood Drive.
Full-depth reclamation projects are set for Forrester Road, Birchwood Drive, Thomas Road and Morgan Court.