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Street repairs fill Public Works Dept's 2018 to-do list

By Tia Lyons
This article was published February 2, 2018 at 5:00 a.m.

The Department of Public Works is gearing up for a busy year with several projects planned, including dispersing $1 million for street improvements.

Robert Edmonds, director of public works, said $1 million was approved in the 2018 city budget to fund the street repair plan for the year.

City street crews are working with the El Dorado Water Utilities to review a tentative list of streets to be repaved in order to sync up road and water and sewer repairs, Edmonds said.

“It’s time to start that process. If streets need water and sewer repairs, then we’re going to move those streets to next year until we get the water and sewer fixed,” he said.

City officials and the EWU previously agreed to compare notes at the start of each year before starting repair work on streets and water and sewer infrastructure.

The department of public works had complained about the EWU tearing into streets to make repairs after milling and overlay work had been completed.

Last year, the EWU was folded into the Department of Public Works after the El Dorado City Council voted to dissolve the decades-old El Dorado Water and Sewer Commission, which oversaw EWU operations.

Public works now consults with a five-member Water Advisory Board, which meets once a month to discuss issues regarding the water utilities.

Edmonds said the city will get to work on street repairs once a list of streets has been nailed down for 2018.

He said it costs approximately $190,000 per mile to overlay a street with the typical two inches of asphalt and $85,000 per mile to mill a street.

“So it’s going to eat up that million dollars really quick, and if it’s (asphalt) already up over the curb after having been overlaid for years, that’s going to have to get milled out and overlaid again,” Edmonds explained.

A couple of streets that are on the tentative list include a portion of West Oak, Beech in its entirety and Martin Luther King Boulevard between Center and Sharp streets.

Edmonds said costs will likely be higher for the MLK project because some sub-base work will have to be done.

“Some of that is going to have to be dug out because of base failure. We’ve got some spots that are falling in, so we’re going to have to rebuild the sub-base,” he said.

Edmonds and the EWU are also tallying cost estimates for the relocation of a water main along U.S. 82 west.

The water main will be moved from the area near Wrights Lane to a spot near South Arkansas Regional Airport at Goodwin Field.

The work is being done in preparation for plans by the Arkansas Department of Transportation to widen the stretch of highway between Wrights Lane and the airport.

“I don’t think it’s going to be reimbursable (by ARDoT) because that water main was laid on a state right of way. We should have harder numbers in a couple of weeks,” Edmonds said.

Also on the agenda for the department of public works is an ongoing effort to expand the walking/running trail that encircles Lions Club Municipal Golf Course and the Union County Fairgrounds.

Edmonds said street repairs are under way at the end of West Main, and once that project is completed, city crews will continue grading a lot in the area of Liberty and Cordell.

The lot will be the new site for the city’s recycling drop-off center, which is located Lester Street, behind Arby’s restaurant.

“We’ve got lots of projects going on. We’re going to be real busy,” Edmonds said.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@eldorado.news.com.

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