Commission approves road paving

Published 9:00 pm Monday, July 28, 2014

Driving in Dallas County could be a little smoother by the time temperatures drop below zero.

The Dallas County Commission approved seven, in-house paving and resurfacing projects Monday in multiple districts, including: Mwenye Street and Avenue A; a section of Dallas County Road 157; a section of County Road 358; and a section of Dallas County Road 29.

The list also includes preparing the Valley Grande Elementary School Parking Lot for paving and painting stripes on Old Montgomery Highway. Most of the projects involve paving gravel roads.

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Probate Judge Kim Ballard said Mwenye Street and Avenue A, near Craig Field, would likely be the first projects to get started.

“If you haven’t been to Mwenye, it’s actually worse than a gravel road,” Ballard said. “The pavement is completely gone.”

Work on Mwenye Street could begin by Friday, he said.

“We have got until maybe November or the latter part of October before the ground starts getting too cold,” he said. “So, we have got to get these thing going.”

Three roads in commissioner Larry Nickles district are set to be paved. Nickles said the roads would enhance the quality of life and public safety after work is complete.

“We have to maintain the gravel roads an awful lot and there is a good size population on each of the roads,” he said. “There’s a need on those roads because every time there’s a downpour of rain, it does detrimental damage.”

Nickles referenced early 2014 rains when talking about the value of turning dust or gravel roads into asphalt.

Many roads were either washed out or flooded after a series of heavy spring rains in 2014. Nickles said the paving, in his district, could reduce the frequency of flooding in instances of heavy rain.

The paving list is only preliminary. Ballard said the commissioners may decide to add more, depending on funding and time remaining before the end of paving season.

The paving projects will be funded mostly through the commission’s general fund, with the rest coming from other portions of the budget, Probate Judge Kim Ballard said. County crews will perform work for all of the approved projects.

Ballard said he wasn’t sure of an exact cost, for the projects. The various paving projects will mostly include labor and purchasing materials, because the project will not require a third-party entity.

Commissioners also talked about long-term plans to overhaul Montgomery Highway. With adding traffic stripes already in the commission’s proposal, Ballard said the commission is also looking to add about 12 street lights to the area.

A separate project could include the resurfacing of Old Montgomery Highway. The projects, approved Monday are part of an annual effort to complete at least one small project in each commissioner’s district each year.

In other news from the meeting:

4 The commission agreed to pay up to $6,000 for the cost of a Labor Day fireworks show in Selma.

A cost estimate presented during the meeting said the total cost of the fireworks show would be $12,000, with the city and county splitting the cost.

Ballard said the city plans to solicit donations for the event, which could reduce the overall amount needed.