Sales tax funds fall short for road, drainage work

Fifty-million dollars from the next special purpose local option sales tax won’t go very far toward repairing Augusta’s aging roads and drainage system.

Engineering Director Abie Ladson said most of the $50 million in projects included on a list going for Augusta Commission approval Tuesday will require additional funds from the Transportation Investment Act, the stormwater fee or some other source to complete.

“Basically, I was given $50 million to work with, so I had to work with what I had,” Lad­son said.

If commissioners agree, the list will join the other specified projects in the $194 million sales-tax package going before voters May 20.

The list’s costliest item, an $8 million set of improvements along 15th Street between the Butt Memorial Bridge and Wrightsboro Road, will improve sidewalks and medians and possibly relocate utilities underground, said interim Deputy Administrator Steve Cas­sell.

Unlike most of the projects, $8 million is sufficient to complete the work, Cassell said.

Other projects on the list aren’t so fortunate. A $2 million allocation for pedestrian improvements and reconstruction of Wrights­boro Road between Highland Avenue and Marks Church Road – a distance of four miles – won’t get the job done, nor will a $1.5 million allocation to complete street and drainage improvements in the Hyde Park and Wilker­son Gardens neighborhoods, according to Ladson.

The 35 projects include several with named targets – Dennis Road, Dover-Lyman, Glass Factory, Monte Sano Avenue, National Hills and Peach Orchard Road – while others are types of services Ladson said the city frequently calls on.

Those unspecified projects include about $4 million for on-call services, typically contracted out, such as emergency appraisals, material testing, construction and design.

A great help toward actually completing the projects would be the commission’s approval of a stormwater fee. An earlier chart Ladson created showed how the city could use the stormwater fee to supplement funding for many of the projects where drainage is involved.

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ProjectFunds from SPLOST
15th Street Pedestrian Improvements$8,000,000.00
ADA-Sidewalks-Rehab-Replacement$600,000.00
Bridge Rehabilitation & Maintenance$800,000.00
Corrugated Pipe Replacement Program$500,000.00
Dennis Road Widening & Drainage Improvements$2,000,000.00
Dover-Lyman Street & Drainage Improvements$1,000,000.00
East Augusta Roadway & Drainage Improvements - Phase III (Marion Homes Area)$500,000.00
East Augusta Roadway & Drainage Improvements - Phase IV (Azalea, Brunswick, & Albany Street Areas)$500,000.00
Flood Control Structures - Rehabilitation & Maintenance$1,000,000.00
Garden City Beautification Initiative$250,000.00
Glass Factory Drainage Basin Conveyance Improvements & Flood Reduction$200,000.00
Grading & Drainage$1,500,000.00
Hyde Park & Wilkerson Gardens Street & Drainage Improvements$1,500,000.00
Maintenance/Construction Machinery & Equipment$200,000.00
Milling & Resurfacing - Contracts$5,100,000.00
Monte Sano Ave Improvements (Wrightsboro Rd to Walton Way)$3,000,000.00
National Hill Area Street & Drainage Improvements$3,000,000.00
Old Savannah Road Street & Drainage Improvements (Martin Luther King Blvd to Gordon Hwy)$500,000.00
On Call Guardrail Replacements$300,000.00
On Call Roadway Striping & Reflector Installation$500,000.00
On Call Traffic Engineering$200,000.00
On-Call & Emergency Appraisal Services$100,000.00
On-Call & Emergency Construction Material Testing Services$500,000.00
On-Call & Emergency Construction Services$1,500,000.00
On-Call & Emergency Design Services$300,000.00
Paving Dirt Roads$2,000,000.00
Peach Orchard Road Sidewalk Installation - Pepperidge Drive to Tobacco Road$1,000,000.00
Rocky Creek Flood Reduction Improvements$1,500,000.00
Skinner Mill Road Widening (Boy Scout to Walton Way)$6,000,000.00
SPLOST Administration$1,000,000.00
Traffic Sign Upgrade Program$300,000.00
Traffic Signal Upgrade Program$1,500,000.00
Tree Removal, Pruning & Replacement$1,000,000.00
Watershed Study & Storm Water Inventory & Mapping$150,000.00
Wrightsboro Road Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements (Highland Ave to Marks Church Road)$2,000,000.00
Total$50,000,000.00

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