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Roanoke eyeing more paving projects

Road resurfacing continues to be a high priority for the City of Roanoke, and the Roanoke City Council’s actions at Monday’s meeting backed that up in a big way.

While resurfacing work on Main Street continues this week, and plans slowly move forward for a much-needed repaving of Franklin Road, the council approved spending an estimated $180,000 on engineering work for eight city streets as the first step in having those streets paved next year.

The city received a street assessment from Harmon Engineering earlier this year that identified 27 roads throughout the city that are in need of resurfacing. Seven of those roads were listed as high-traffic roads, so the council has zeroed in on those seven (plus two listed as moderate traffic) for its first wave of resurfacing projects.

The eight roads approved for engineering work Monday were Bud Cummings Road, Industrial Boulevard, Airport Road (both the long and short portions on either side of LaFayette Highway), Louina Street, Peachtree Street, North Main Street, and the 100-foot stretch of LaFayette Highway at the intersection with Highway 431.

The council went through each road one at a time and voted on each one individually to approve or not approve.

One road that was on the list of high traffic streets, but was conspicuously not approved, was West Point Street. When West Point Street came up, it never even made it to a vote because no council member made a motion for approval.

West Point Street, particularly the portion that runs from LaFayette Highway to the front of the Roanoke Recreation Center, is in dire need of resurfacing. It is also one of the most visible roads to outside visitors to Roanoke due to the fact that it leads to Wright Field.

It’s possible that West Point Street could still be added to this first wave of projects at an upcoming city council meeting.

All of the other roads were approved unanimously, except for Industrial Boulevard, which made the cut by a narrow 3-2 vote, with council members Tommy Rushton and Mike Parmer voting against it. Industrial was not on the original list of eight roads for this first wave of resurfacing, but council member Tammi Holley successfully made the motion to add it.

Industrial is not listed as a high-traffic road on the street assessment list of the 27 roads, and was one of two moderate-traffic roads, along with the short portion of Airport Road, to be approved.

Harmon Engineering will do the engineering for the proposed projects. The engineering work is essentially the architectural plan spelling out the details for how the road is to be properly repaved. Once those plans are in place the council will vote on whether to bid out those repaving projects. If those contracts are bid and approved, the actual resurfacing of the roads would take place no sooner than next spring.

In other action Monday, the Roanoke Council:

  • Approved a $6,700 expenditure to create a new C and D cell at the landfill, as the existing cell is almost full.
  • Reappointed Fire Chief Ronald Cameron as a member of the Roanoke Utilities Board.
  • Agreed to abate the nuisance property at the corner of West Point Street and Chestnut Street. The city plans to tear that building down, along with the other two previously abated buildings on Chestnut Street.
  • Spent 17 minutes in executive session discussing matters related to real estate.

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