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Commissioners seek bids on major road resurfacing project

A major road resurfacing project encompassing approximately 38 miles of county roads will be put out for bid following action by the Grady County commission Tuesday.
The cost of the project is estimated to be about $2.1 million and will be financed with proceeds from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). The county issued $5 million in bonds to fast-track some of the road improvements approved by voters in the most recent SPLOST. The bonds will be retired with SPLOST proceeds during the life of the tax.
The commissioners are investing funds from the previous SPLOST as well as bond proceeds on a variety of road and bridge projects throughout the county.
“These are our worst roads. The sure enough bad ones,” County Road Superintendent Yancey Maxwell told commissioners Tuesday.
Maxwell and County Administrator Rusty Moye proposed to the commissioners the idea of negotiating with Littlefield Construction, which has been awarded Local Assistance Road Paving projects by the state for this district, and is scheduled to resurface McCraeville Road at a cost of $55,000 per mile.
According to Moye, the most recent surface treatment price the county had received was for the extension of Elkins Road at a cost of $73,000 per mile.
“Littlefield has expressed an interest in doing other repaving work if the board was interested,” Moye said.
However, commissioners were hesitant to spend more than $2 million on a no-bid contract.
“This is a significant amount of money and I wouldn’t want the public to perceive somehow or another that we were favoring a particular contractor over another,” Chairman Al Ball said.
Vice Chairman Charles Renaud agreed with Chairman Ball, but asked about the possibility of abbreviating the bid process.
If Littlefield were to be the low bidder county officials said they would hope the company could move directly from McCraeville Road and onto the other projects.
“I understand what you are saying, but they are already piling rock and getting ready to start work. Once they start it won’t take but three or four days and they will be moving on,” Moye said.
The county administrator said the county would have to allow interested bidders the opportunity to evaluate each road before submitting a bid.
“We may be getting a good deal from Littlefield and it may cost more to bid it out, but the point of it is with 38 miles of resurfacing you have a drawing card,” Commissioner Charles Norton said.
The roads identified by the road superintendent as needing immediate attention include: Elkins Road from Woodland Road to the GA Hwy. 188 intersection; Smith Road from GA Hwy. 93S to Hall Road; Pierce Chapel Road from Old Thomasville to U.S. 84E; Vereen Bell Road from U.S 84W to Collins Road; Pine Park Road from U.S 84E to the railroad; Trinity Road from Old 84 to Open Pond Road; Faircloth Road from Sofkee Road to 179S; Akridge Road from Pope Store Road to GA Hwy. 188; Bold Springs Road from GA Hwy. 188 to U.S. 84E; Ridge Road from Pine Level Road to GA Hwy. 93N; Old 84 from U.S. 84E to U.S. 84W.; and Concord Road from Lower Hawthorne Trail to the Florida line.
After discussing the matter Commissioner Bobby Burns made a motion to put the project out to bid and Commissioner Norton seconded the motion. The board voted unanimously to put the project out for bid.
In other action Tuesday, the board took action on other road and bridge projects.
Commissioners ratified an earlier telephone poling to spend $15,550 for Southern Contractors to replace cross drain piping on Old 179 and to repair existing piping on Pine Park Road.
The board also voted unanimously to accept a bid from Southern Concrete Construction of $123,111 for an 80-foot precast concrete bridge on Wolf Creek Road. The bridge will replace a failed metal culvert pipe.
Commissioner Norton noted that this was the seventh bridge the county had put in since Tropical Storm Faye reeked havoc on the county.
Also Tuesday morning, the commissioners accepted a low bid of $291,811 from Cal-Mart Inc. (CMI) for the paving of Robert Willis Road and Due South Lane. Under the terms of the agreement, the county road department will grade the two roads and the contractor will install and compact an eight-inch thick lime rock base and lay two inches of 9.5-mm super pave asphalt riding surface. County Attorney Kevin S. Cauley was charged with obtaining the necessary rights-of-way for the paving projects. Commissioner Norton commented that if the rights-of-way are not donated then the project would be canceled.
All of these road projects as well as the Meridian Road, Pine Level Road, Old Egg Road and Joyner Road projects in addition to miscellaneous culvert replacements and materials for pothole patching has been financed with SPLOST proceeds.
“Just these projects and materials cost approximately $2.5 million, which equates to almost four mils of ad valorem taxes. We could not have accomplished the cleanup work and road reconstruction work required by the devastation from Tropical Storm Faye without a tax increase had we not had the SPLOST in place,” County Administrator Rusty Moye said.
He added, “We can actually plan to maintain roads and bridges now without having to jump and jerk when a road, bridge or culvert fails.”

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