Caution urged as street paving project begins

Freedom Drive off Highway 248 in east Enterprise is the first street slated to be resurfaced when the second phase of the city’s four-year street paving project begins this week.

Mayor William E. Cooper said Dec. 13 that the paving contractor, Wiregrass Construction Company Inc., is expected to start the work by Dec. 16, weather permitting.

“We are extremely pleased about getting under way on this project that has been one of our major goals for infrastructure improvement,” said Cooper. “This second phase of our comprehensive resurfacing plan is expected to include all or parts of 55 streets.”

The overall plan is to have more than 50 percent of the city’s 190 miles of streets resurfaced over the next four years.

The first phase was completed in 2020, with about eight miles of streets repaved at a cost of just over $1 million. Expected to cost about $3.6 million, Phase II will resurface about 18 miles of streets. Phase II is expected to be completed in June 2022.

“This will be a great asset for our citizens, especially property owners and those who live on the streets that have badly needed repair,” said City Engineering and Public Works Director Barry Mott. “It will also be greatly helpful to our city to prevent wear and tear on the city vehicles that provide services such as garbage pickup and police and fire response.”

Mott said the 55 streets slated to be repaved in Phase II were identified in a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) evaluation done several years ago to determine road conditions. The streets were also assessed on the severity of water line issues under the street.

A comprehensive water line replacement project is also under way as the Enterprise Water Works Board replaces deteriorating water lines. The goal is to replace the at-risk water lines before the resurfacing is done to reduce the likelihood that the new paving would have to be repaired or replaced.

Mott said the highly traveled Freedom Drive received a low score as rated by the PCI, with utility conditions taken into consideration.

The next nine Phase II streets on the construction schedule are Havana Street, Fawn Street, Wren Lane, Anthony Circle, Julian Street, South Industrial Boulevard, Ford Alley, Ford Lane and Sims Street. Other streets within the same neighborhoods where these are located may also be on the list but are either ranked higher on the list or have water line issues that must be addressed first.

City officials said they will keep the public informed about what streets are being resurfaced. Motorists are asked to use caution when driving in the work areas and be mindful that some street closures and other traffic interruptions may take place as work is under way in specific areas.

For now, residents of Freedom Drive or those who use the street as a regular route to and from work may want to consider using a different route or plan for travel delays, Cooper said.

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