By the fall, 19 Columbia County roads will be refurbished and resurfaced because of a recent award from Gov. Sonny Perdue's Paving the Way Home initiative.
The projects are funded through the Local Assistance Road Program.
"This is a program to assist the counties so we don't have to spend our SPLOST (one-cent sales tax) money to do this work," said Ronnie Hutto, a pre-construction engineer with Columbia County's Road Construction Department. "It is kind of a gift from the state and we take advantage of it."
More than six miles of Columbia County roads, including two in Harlem and one in Grovetown, were approved for the resurfacing project. County crews will be responsible for filling potholes and patching the roads to meet Georgia Department of Transportation specifications before being resurfaced, said Floyd Potter, a state DOT District Two state aid coordinator.
"The only thing the county had to do with LARP is certify the right of way, telling us the road belongs to the county, and do the patching," Potter said. "We oversee the construction. We put the project out for bid."
Potter said he hopes all the LARP-funded projects will go out for bid to contractors in April.
No exact price to resurface the 6.09 miles in Columbia County is known yet. Potter said that the price will be established once the projects have gone to bid.
"If all goes as planned, if we let (the projects out to bid) in April, all the LARP projects should be completed in our district in the fall," Potter said.
The Governor approved $60 million on Feb. 7 for statewide LARP projects. LARP funds can be used for resurfacing and deep patching projects, reducing the time and resources area governments will have to spend to prepare roads for repaving.
Georgia's 117,000 miles of state and area roads account for nearly 84 percent of the state's entire 99,000-mile road system, according to a news release from Perdue's office.
Many area governments cannot afford the cost of upgrading and maintaining the 29,000 miles of unpaved area roads and 50 percent (35,000 miles) of paved area roads in need of repair of repaving, according to the release.
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