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Posted on: April 6, 2017

Fuel Tax Street Project to Begin

A street improvement project funded from the proceeds of the voter-approved local fuel tax is scheduled to begin by the first week of May, Brookings City Manager Gary Milliman said today.

Work will include resurfacing of portions of four streets:

  • Center Street from Chetco Avenue to Railroad Street.
  • Fern Avenue from Elk Drive to Easy Street.
  • Hemlock Street from Fern Avenue to Willow Street
  • Arnold Lane from Rowland Lane to near Chetco Avenue.

City Public Works Department employees are currently working to prepare the streets for paving.  This work include minor storm drain repairs, removing weeds, adding rock base to road edges, repairing pot holes and sinks.

The City has awarded the contract for the resurfacing project to Tidewater Contractors of Brookings.  The amount of the contract is $219,738.  The City is receiving about $290,000 annually in proceeds from the fuel tax.

“We hope to pick up some additional resurfacing at several locations as the work progresses and as funds remain available for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30,” Milliman said.  “We had to drop one street from the original list because we need to complete some major storm drain work before we pave the street.”  The postponed street is Ransom Avenue between Sixth Street and Kevin Place.

The contract for the project slated to begin soon was awarded in December in hopes that there would be a stretch of favorable weather over the winter.  “We have been able to squeeze some work in during the winter in recent years, but we were never able to get a good weather period of adequate duration to get this work done before now,” Milliman said

“We recognize that there are many other streets in the City that need repair,” Milliman said.  “We are working on plans for the next project, which will occur in July or August.”  Currently, the City is considering a paving project on Spruce Drive loop between Spruce Street and Linden Lane, Fifth Street between Barbra Lanes and Ransom Avenue, and Ransom Avenue between Fawn Drive and Pioneer Road.

“A citizen recently remarked that they expected the City streets to be ‘paved with gold’ because of the new fuel tax,” Milliman noted.  “Our streets will not be paved with gold…the cost of paving just makes it seem that way.”

The first project funded from new fuel tax proceeds was a slurry seal project involving about three miles of streets throughout town.  “Had we not done that project, we would be losing the surface of a lot more streets today,” Milliman noted.  “That project was intended to stabilize the streets for a few years until we have enough money to come back and do paving or reconstruction.”

Additional first-year work included repaving Hassett Street between Old County Road and Pioneer Street, constructing a sidewalk along a section of Easy Street, repairing s section of North Bank Chetco River Road that was collapsing and a slope failure on Marine Drive.

“The prolonged period of rainy weather has accelerated the deterioration of many streets,” Milliman said.   “We could use twice the amount of available funding, but we are doing what we can within the funds available.”

Brookings voters approved a four-cent-per-gallon local fuel tax May 2016.

The reconstruction of Railroad Street is scheduled to begin this fall, Milliman said.  Noting that construction plans are 75 per cent complete, Milliman said that this $2.4 million project will resolve many issues on Railroad Street that have been maintenance problems for years.  No local fuel tax revenues are being used to fund the Railroad Street project.

The current work on Railroad Street is to install new water and sewer mains.  After this work is completed, there will be a gap in time of several months before the street reconstruction work begins.

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