Sales tax dollars, grant monies would be used to repave 4.49 miles

Blackshear streets will be looking better than ever next year and motorists should notice a smoother ride through town too.

As the 2014 SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) sunsets, Blackshear is preparing to spend nearly $700,000 in SPLOST dollars on road resurfacing and improvements in 2020. Sales tax dollars combined with other grant funds and T-SPLOST (transportation special purpose local option sales tax) dollars will pay for nearly $1.7 million in road work next year.

Blackshear allocated approximately 40 percent of the 2014 SPLOST toward road construction and maintenance, but the city has used those funds conservatively over the last five years and is now looking to spend the remainder of those funds on much-needed repaving.

“It’s kind of good to hold that back because we never know when we might have a road cave in or something, but we are at the end of it (the SPLOST term) where we’ve got to do something with it,”  says Chris Wright, Blackshear police chief.

Wright, who serves as special projects manager for the city, gave that report at a city council workshop last week. Council members were expected to vote on the proposed project list, covering 4.49 miles of city street, at their monthly meeting last night after The Times press deadline.

The total estimated cost for  next year’s resurfacing project is $1,681,991.44. Transportation Investment Act (TIA)/T-SPLOST funds allocated for resurfacing comprise the bulk of that funding – $920,371.78. 2014 SPLOST dollars allocated for the project total $692,160.27, and Local Maintenance and Improvement (LMIG) monies make up the remaining $69,459.39.

The TIA projects have already been approved by the state, but Wright told council members his cost estimates were based on the current average cost per linear foot for resurfacing. The city hasn’t received a state price yet.

Voters passed the T-SPLOST here in 2017, but this band of projects slated for next year are among the first to roll out.

Streets included in this project list were chosen by condition – those with the most patch jobs and potholes received higher priority. Wright also worked to spread projects out evenly across the city’s six districts.

The first phase of resurfacing is slated for January - March 2020 and includes 14 streets or sections of street:

• Bazemore Dr. (1,480 feet)

• Lazy Ln. (950 feet)

• Beaver Dr. (700 feet)

• Blackbear Dr. (700 feet)

• Tyrants Terr.  (700 feet)

• Bobcat Dr. (1,040 feet)

• Fawn Ln.  (500 feet)

• Marion St. (2,290 feet)

• Hillcrest Blvd. (1,080 feet)

• N.E. Central Ave. (1,840 feet)

• S.W. Central Ave. (345 feet)

• N.W. Central Ave. (360 feet)

• Taylor St. (350 feet)

• Darling St. (425 feet)

The city won’t start the second phase of resurfacing until the third or fourth quarter of the year, allowing for a sewer project in the Ware Street community to be completed first before new asphalt is laid.

“All those streets are most likely going to have sewer improvements through the wastewater treatment plant grant and other sources,” Wright explains. “We don’t want to resurface and have to cut it up.”

Phase two includes the following 22 streets or sections of streets:

• Jane St. (2,710 feet)

• Jackson St. (910 feet)

• Bud St. (930 feet)

• Old Shiloh Rd. (1,265 feet)

• Owens St. (1,375 feet)

• Strickland Ave. (3,770 feet)

• Fulton St. (5,063 feet)

• Cherry St. (7,223 feet)

• Allen Ave. (1,684 feet)

• Watson St. (1,393 feet)

• Yeomans St. (2,882 feet)

• Sycamore St. (1,832 feet)

• Eva St. (918 feet)

• Burroughs St. (696 feet)

• Leo Marshall Dr. (2,122 feet)

• Oden St. (776 feet)

• Hall St. (786 feet)

• Hendry St. (1,061 feet)

• Lee St. (2,518 feet)

• Oak St. (454 feet)

• Thomas St. (1,013 feet)

• Ware St. (5,280 feet)

Resurfacing city streets and roads comprises most of the 2020 project, but $150,000 will also be spent on sidewalk replacement and repair along College Ave., Ware Street and Church Street.

Resurfacing cost estimates by district are:

District One – $66,491.82

District Two – $94,890.42

District Three – $151,853.04

District Four – $920,371.78

District Five – $139,716.18

District Six – $158,668.20