Commissioners agreed to hire C.W. Roberts Contracting to wrap up road resurfacing for the current fiscal year.
The city is all set to begin resurfacing an additional round of streets after agreeing to hire C.W. Roberts Contracting, Inc.
It was a night of good news Monday evening as city commissioners unanimously agreed to hire the contracting company to tackle finishing off the remaining street repairs for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This year’s Street Resurfacing Project included 54 streets that were either collector or neighborhood roads.
For $3,250,677.96, C.W. Roberts will finish the job and, now that the contract was approved, the construction will soon be underway. The funds are coming from the 1 Mil Street Resurfacing fund and from the Hillsborough County Grant for Street Resurfacing. What makes this round special is the majority of the work will be winding in and out of local neighborhoods, bringing some much needed repairs to the roads people drive every single day.
In a pleasant surprise, City Manager Bill McDaniel also brought a second list to the commissioners Monday evening. On it are 4.2 miles of other highlighted roads the city wants to repair before the end of the fiscal year. Calling it “Phase 2,” these roads can be added this year because the construction bids came back slightly lower than the city originally estimated. With an approximately $1 million available and a loudly ticking clock, the commissioners reviewed the list and approved to add them to this year’s to-do list.
“One thing I’m excited about is we’re about to pave in the next four months 22 miles of our city’s roads,” Mayor Rick Lott said. “It’s getting harder and harder and harder to find roads that aren’t new in this town. As you improve the roads, it also improves the home values in those neighborhoods. When you think about the fact that homes are typically the single largest value in families’ net worth, you realize not only is it a better living condition, it’s positively impacting residents’ lives.”
While the original list of approved roads, Phase 1, will begin seeing action right away Phase 2 will now need to be placed out for bids. Once those bids are returned, the city can select a contractor and then quickly finalize the repairs before the fiscal year ends in four months.
“We are well, with this project we are well over, 25 percent of our total road miles that have been paved since we instituted this program,” McDaniel said. “In a very short time we have carved away a significant percentage of our roads and again that doesn’t include the roads the state is resurfacing and it doesn’t count any county repairs inside the city.”
Once these approximately 22 miles are completed, the city will have essentially picked all of the “low-hanging fruit,” according to City Commissioner Bill Dodson. Continuing the metaphor McDaniel agreed and said the next step is for the city to move on to the “soft, squishy stuff that we think we are able to pave” once they do a risk assessment. If a road requires underlying utility work, it will cost far more to complete than to simply redo the asphalt. There are a few roadways where utility work is minimal, and those will more than likely be the next focus before the city moves on to the larger projects requiring extensive utility work as well as road resurfacing.
Some of those repairs are already being seen throughout the city. Lott said the city just completed the flooding improvements on MLK Boulevard in front of Fred’s Market Restaurant. The effects of those improvements were seen firsthand Monday when a massive storm rolled in, sending large amounts of rain into the neighborhood. While there was still some water, there was no threat of flooding. Just a few years ago, a woman’s car was washed away from the Fred’s parking lot, Lott said. Other people have since had issues with the quickly rising water, so the city took a hard look at how best to alleviate the issue.
“These are major projects,” Lott said. “As we’re fixing our roads, we’re also fixing all the infrastructure under the roads. Above ground and below ground, we’re improving the city.”
The ruling on All For Transportation, which could potentially have more funding coming into the city for street repair, is set to take place this week. If the allocated funding can be used in Plant City for street resurfacing, McDaniel said there is already a list of streets set aside and ready for approval for those funds to be used toward.