Lots of paving needs being addressed this year

Published 5:46 pm Friday, August 17, 2018

This has been a good year for road improvements in the local area. City and county officials deserve praise for planning and carrying through on something sorely needed by the public. And more is on the way next year.

The City of Valley has brought $1.8 million in road improvements to the city. This includes several city streets, such as portions of 55th and 56th streets, a portion of Boulevard in Shawmut and most significantly, the four-mile stretch of River/California road that runs from Trammell Block in Fairfax to the First Christian Church in River View. All of these roads are much better to drive on than they were just a few weeks ago.

The Chambers County Highway Department has done a nice job of resurfacing Ben Brown Road from Highway 29 to the Lee County line. What’s really good about this is that Lee County has paved the portion of the road that runs from the Chambers County line to the caution light near Beulah High School. There’s now a smooth surface road from Valley to Beulah,

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The county is also getting started on the long-awaited project to widen Phillips Road near Huguley School. Hopefully, this will reduce traffic around the school in the mornings and afternoons when school is in session. People need to understand that this is a complex project and will take some time. It’s not just a matter of paving an existing road. Water and gas lines will have to be moved before the actual work on the road can get started. This can be finished by late 2019. Clearly, it will serve the public good once it takes place.

Most of the paving that needs to be done in Phases I and II of the Lanett streetscape project is finished. The First Street portion is still a problem, but that will be addressed in the not-too-distant future. There are some city streets that badly need attention. Some of the ones in really bad shape should be repaved before the weather turns cold.

As the calendar turns to 2019, Chambers County will be taking care of the Phillips Road project, Lanett will be working on Phase III of the streetscape and Valley will be addressing road and infrastructure needs in its industrial park.

Between now and then, a whole lot of asphalt paving will be going on at the Lanett airport.

It’s good to have local governments planning for the future while doing good work in addressing current needs.