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Plant City Observer Friday, Jul. 14, 2017 2 months ago

City street repairs move forward

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Plant City’s $6.6 million road repair project will get moving with help from C.W. Roberts Contracting, which was awarded a contract in June.
by: Daniel Figueroa IV Staff Writer

The City Commission in late June awarded a $1.3 million contract to C.W. Roberts Contracting for the resurfacing of 7.8 miles of city-maintained roads by the end of the fiscal year.

The work is part of a larger project begun earlier this year when the city chose to invest about $6.6 million in the repair of roads. Plant City maintains about 160 miles of road, City Engineer Mike Schenk said.

“It’s a priority for the city and the Commission, without a doubt,” Interim City Manager Kim Leinbach said. “Infrastructure is important to the success of any city.”

The plans began a few years ago. Assistant City Manager Bill McDaniel said the city has been working to not only improve roads, but to maximize the life of the repairs. Money was also pooled for a few years to be able to invest more in the roads, he said. The city chose to approach the streets from above and below. Before road work was able to begin, repairs were made to utility and sewer systems. Faulty utilities can often lead to damaged roads.

“It’s more than just slapping down new asphalt,” McDaniel said. “(That way) you don’t have to go back a year later and tear up your brand new road.”

Killebrew Inc., a company specializing in sewage and utility work, has been working to complete the

C.W. Roberts Contracting is building an asphalt plant at 2102 Jim Johnson Road.

utility repairs, estimated to cost around $4 million. The $1.3 million bid from C.W. Roberts is about half of what the city expected to pay. C.W. Roberts, a Tallahassee-based company, has locations in Hosford, Freeport, Panama City, and Wildwood. It is also building an asphalt plant on Jim Johnson Road in Plant City.

The project is the first phase of what Leinbach said will be consistent work to repair, then maintain the city’s roads. City engineers, McDaniel said, observed city streets to determine the condition of roads and looked at some of the most heavily trafficked roads in the city. Using those two factors, a prioritized list was created to begin working on the roads in phases.

First-phase work is being done on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, from Park Road to CSX Railroad; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, from CSX Railroad to South Alexander Street; West Grant Street, from South Collins Street to South Alexander Street; North Franklin Street, from West McLendon Street to Valencia Road; North Mobley Street, from West Baker Street to Strawberry Drive; South Lake Street, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to East Alabama Street; North Shannon Avenue from East Calhoun Street to South Frontage Road; Walter Drive, from West Reynolds Street to West Baker Street; South Woodrow Wilson Street, from Airport Road to CSX Railroad; Forest Club Drive, from Pine Club Drive to the end of the road; and Pine Club Drive, from Griffin Boulevard to Forest Club Boulevard.

Leinbach said the city will continue to prioritize repairing roads. It can be difficult, he said, when trying to maximize limited fiscal resources, but it’s always something city staff are working on and something that will never be finished. With 160 miles of road, there’s always work to be done.

“It will never be ‘finished’, but with a good solid foundation, maintaining will be easier,” Leinbach said. “It’s like my house. There’s always something needs to be done.”

Daniel Figueroa IV is a Staff Writer at the Plant City Times & Observer. He has been covering Plant City since 2017. Previously, he was the politics and veteran affairs reporter at the Ledger of Lakeland. He probably wants to ride motorcycles and trade books with...

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