A pair of long-planned projects in Roanoke are up and running, as paving crews and local garbage trucks have hit the city’s streets.
The paving began last week with crews putting a new surface on Louina Road and moving on to the short segment of LaFayette Highway at the intersection of 431 at the start of this week. That work will continue, as weather allows, with six more roads scheduled to be paved over the coming weeks. Those roads, in no particular order, are Bud Cummings Road, Airport Road, Industrial Boulevard, West Point Street and Peachtree Street.
Monday was also the first day that Roanoke’s new sanitation department began its residential garbage collection duties. The city recently purchased two garbage trucks, and those trucks will be out running their inaugural routes this week.
The trash pickup schedule will remain unchanged, so residents can continue to put their bins by the road on the same day as they had previously.
Also 121 Disposal distributed its commercial dumpsters last week and its pickup duties Monday as well, cutting the city’s final tie on its rocky two-year relationship with Amwaste.
The city is also inching closer to finalizing its Franklin Road resurfacing project. The city received just one bid for that project, and that bid came in much higher than the engineers’ estimate. However, whenever only one bid is received, the city has the right to negotiate the price with that one bidder, and the engineer in the project – Harmon Engineering – stepped in to do just that.
Gary Ingram Paving and Grading submitted an initial bid of just over $1.2 million for the project, but Harmon was able to negotiate that down to a little more than $986,000. That new price was submitted to the Roanoke City Council Monday for their review.
If the council likes what it sees, they could approve the contract at the next council meeting April 17. That would open the door for that project to get underway and potentially be completed sometime this summer.
As part of that project, surrounding roads Yancey Street, West Piedmont, Highland Avenue and Kiwanis Drive will also be resurfaced.
Roanoke also received just one bid for the construction of the new parking lot next to city hall. That bid was for approximately $370,000, which was also much higher than the engineer’s estimate of $262,000. Harmon will work to renegotiate that contract as well before presenting it to the council for approval.
East Avenue closed
Erosion from local flooding due to last week’s heavy rains have led to the temporary closure of East Avenue in Roanoke. East Avenue connects Peachtree Street to Highway 431 on the outskirts of the Mill Village and is sometimes part of the route drivers take when picking up or dropping off students at Knight Enloe Elementary School.
The erosion caused the warping and separation of a drainage pipe and exposed a gas line, and city officials felt it was safer to close the road and repair it rather than risk further damage by keeping it open to traffic.
Mayor Jill Patterson-Hicks said they hope to have the road reopened within two weeks.
Results from Roanoke’s annual financial audit, conducted by accountants at MDA Professional Group in Roanoke, were presented to the council Monday. The audit came back with an “unmodified opinion,” meaning the figures presented to the accountants by the city were substantially accurate.
The audit shows the city in good financial shape after revenues came in higher than expected and expenditures were under their budgeted numbers for the fiscal year of October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022.