Thursday, October 8, 2009
Work resumes on bypass road
By SUE WATSON
The North Holly Springs bypass road won’t likely be paved until next year but the remaining dirt work was begun last week.
The project that was split into stages due to lack of funds several years ago.
When completed, traffic coming into Holly Springs from Highway 7 North and Highway 4 East and Highway 311 will not have to pass through Holly Springs directly unless motorists have business in the downtown area. The bypass will tie into U.S. Highway 78 at the North Holly Springs Exit.
“I know the citizens are glad to get this job going again,” said Eddie Bain with Bain & Sons Inc., a local construction company that has the subcontract for the dirt-moving work under prime contractor Standard Construction Co. of Memphis.
Bain & Sons will put the dirt base layer down, hopefully finishing by Thanksgiving, Eddie Bain said. Ferrell Paving of Memphis will put down the soil cement and paving, a job that will probably wait until next spring.
There is too much work to get the road finished this fall, Bain said.
“Our goal is to get as much done as we can before winter sets in,” he said. “Our main thing is to stop the washing and protect what has been done.”
The washout at the Highway 178 bridge was to be fixed last week. The bridge never was in any danger since they are sitting on concrete pilings that go deep into the earth, Bain said. About a dump truck of dirt had washed out due to heavy rains in September.
The county road and bridge department has been repairing the washes for the last couple of years while the county waited for funds to let the paving contract.
“The county has been holding it together for the last two years or however long it’s been,” Bain said.
County engineer Larry Britt is not optimistic that paving will get started this fall.
“We are trying to get it back ready and if the weather cooperates, they will get some paving done,” Britt said. “If not, they will have to shore up what they have and wait until next spring.”
The current phase of the project consists of three components – mixing soil cement with topping material, applying an asphalt base, and then adding the final asphalt surface, Britt said. The road has lain fallow for about two years waiting on funding to do the paving because the project was split up into two phases when construction materials and fuel skyrocketed several years ago. When initial bids for the entire project came in too high over state engineering estimates, the state ordered the project be split into two phases with paving to be put off until monies became available.
Due to difficult economic times which saw gasoline prices hit the $4 mark and Hurricane Katrina which ravaged state coffers, the paving portion of the project did not find sufficient funding until this year when the Obama administration and Congress passed an economic stimulus package. Federal dollars then became available this year to pave the bypass road.
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