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Granite Shoals targets ragged roads

Kings Circle Drive in Granite Shoals

Kings Circle Drive is the highest-priority road for repairs in Granite Shoals. The City Council recently gave the go-ahead to fix it despite the high cost and numerous challenges the road presents. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The two highest-priority roads for repairs in Granite Shoals are getting a makeover despite high costs and increased challenges. The City Council approved using two years of street maintenance budgets to begin heavy-duty upgrades to Kings Circle Drive and Hill Way Drive.

City Manager Peggy Smith laid out the engineering issues and realistic costs of getting the two ragged city streets up to acceptable standards at a recent council meeting. Kings Circle and Hill Way have been on the city’s radar for at least the past two years, topping the list for repairs due to heavy use and degraded condition.

“When we were considering street projects for last year, the first road that was at the top of everyone’s list was King Circle,” Smith told the council. “The more we looked at this road, the more expensive it got. It is definitely outside the range of the funds that we have available each year to do roads.”

Smith pitched using the combined funds from the 2021-22 and 2022-23 street work budgets, roughly $600,000, to do the job. The high price tag is because of necessary drainage work on Kings Circle and the installation of a water line on Hill Way so fire hydrants can be brought to an underserved portion of the city, Smith said.

“I believe we can do these two roads with both years’ budgets,” she said.

The council unanimously approved Smith’s proposal.

“We can’t kick the can down the road,” said Place 6 Councilor Phil Ort. “We owe it to the citizens, especially the fire hydrants.” 

Mayor Kiel Arnone echoed Ort’s sentiments and noted that he had been hearing about the poor condition of Kings Circle since he moved to Granite Shoals in 2021.

Before Kings Circle and Hill Way can be repaved, several culverts and drainage lines have to be installed to divert the flow of water from the road’s surface, which would break down over time without proper drainage. According to Smith, this is further complicated by the numerous elevation changes along Kings Circle. 

Because Kings Circle is a school bus route and a major thoroughfare on the city’s east side, it will get a full coat of hot mix asphalt, which has a longer lifespan. Hill Way will be chip sealed, a cheaper and less durable coat, because it is a lower-traffic road.

The initial site prep on the projects could be completed before the end of paving season in October, but actually paving the roads might have to wait until late spring or early summer next year, Smith said.