ALBANY — Some Albany drivers may have noticed their travels around the city are a little smoother these days as a $6.4 million project to resurface some of Albany’s worst streets has reached the halfway point.
Local and state funding— including the 1% transportation local option sales tax dedicated to road projects —will pay for the work, which includes streets all over the city, said Stacey Rowe, acting superintendent of Public Works for the city of Albany.
“At the beginning of Phase 2, we had 146 miles of ‘very poor’ streets,” Rowe said. “After Phase 2, there will be 114 miles of very poor streets.”
In addition to the transportation sales tax dollars, funding for the resurfacing work will come from other sales taxes being levied and local maintenance and improvement grant funds. The contract was awarded to Oxford Construction Co., with a six-month window for completion that began on May 20.
Twenty-six of the 49 streets have been resurfaced, Rowe said, representing about half of the total 32 miles included in the contract. Some additional work, such as striping and adjusting the height of manholes and water valves, remains to be done on some streets.
Among the more heavily driven streets on the list are Stuart Avenue from Palmyra Road to Ledo Road, Whispering Pines Road from Slappey Boulevard to Dawson Road, and Pine Avenue from Davis Street to Slappey.
“They will be doing those at night,” to prevent traffic disruption, Rowe said.
This phase of work had been in the works for a while, but after the T-SPLOST passed, it was expanded. Now the department is working on completing plans for the next round of streets for resurfacing.
“Phase 3 will be coming to them (Albany City Commission) around January,” Rowe said. “It’ll be close to $5 million. We’ll be using T-SPLOST, LMIG and regular SPLOST. T-SPLOST is going to be a huge help. In the city of Albany we’ll be spending $5 to $6 million a year (on resurfacing).”
Dougherty County voters approved the additional penny tax by a narrow margin in March. Collection of that tax began on July 1.
State money from the LMIG program totaled $1.7 million for the city’s current budget year.
On average, it takes about $192,000 to resurface a mile of a street in the city.
With the increase in sales tax dollars, city officials say they hope to eliminate the 100-plus miles of streets rated “very poor” in a recent audit, as well and the complaints from angry constituents about bumps and potholes.
“That’s the ultimate goal,” Rowe said.