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Granite Shoals drives forward on major street work

Kings Circle Drive in Granite Shoals

Kings Circle Drive is on the list for major repairs and paving in 2023. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Granite Shoals City Council and city administration discussed the status of major street repairs in 2023 during the council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, March 14. Kings Circle Drive and Hill Way Drive are in line for drainage work, seal coating, and water line upgrades during “paving season,” which runs from about May through October when temperatures are warmer.

The city is out for bid on drainage and street paving services. Cost and time estimates are difficult to gauge this early in the process, according to city staff, due to unknown needs for culverts, water line redirections, and how much granite must be cut through.

“You don’t really know until you get involved,” said Streets and Parks Superintendent Ronald “Shorty” Corley. “You don’t know what’s there until you start tearing up stuff.”

Corley’s work crew is currently six out of 10 employees, including himself. The city decided to go with an outside hire to handle the repairs because of the department’s lack of manpower, which has been an ongoing issue in recent years

Granite Shoals has about $600,000 to complete the repairs, which is the combined streets budgets from the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years. Last year’s repairs were halted by a drawn-out engineering study focused on identifying potential drainage issues on Kings Circle Drive. Street work funds from 2022 were then rolled over for this year’s paving season, which is the time of year when night temperatures are above 50 degrees, allowing for smooth paving.

Kings Circle Drive is at the top of the street work priority list because it’s highly traveled, in poor condition, and used as a school bus route.

According to Corley, street repairs will consist of:

  • identifying locations for culverts;
  • finding and moving water lines that are in the way;
  • cutting drainage ditches;
  • remilling roads;
  • applying a seal coat mixture;
  • waiting to see if that coat holds up to weather;
  • and then applying the final layer of asphalt if funds allow.

Mayor Aaron Garcia asked for a timeline on the project, but Corley was reluctant to give an exact figure.

“(The timeline) depends on how many culverts we put in,” he said. “It could be months, it could be weeks, it just depends on what we have to tie into, what water lines we have to move, how deep they are, how far we have to go back.”

The city will also install larger-diameter water lines along Hill Way Drive, which will tie into water lines on Valley View Lane and allow for the installation of fire hydrants.

City Manager Peggy Smith was absent from Tuesday’s meeting, but she briefed Fire Chief Tim Campbell on the status of the streets projects. He led the discussion and seemed optimistic about the city’s ability to complete the projects in 2023.

“We have last year’s and this year’s budgets,” he said. “We should be able to knock out both streets.”

dakota@thepicayune.com