Bay County is preparing to spend more than a million dollars to pave roads and improve drainage in a problem-plagued area. But the state of Florida is picking up most of the tab.
On Monday afternoon, a grader made its way down Nadine Road in Bayou George – something that won't be necessary in a few months. A nearly half-mile section of the road is included in the $1.2 million project.
According to George Walrond, Engineering Division Manager, the area south of John Pitts Road has a troubled past. "This one has always been ranked fairly high in our list of areas that we need to fix," he said. "We've had a history of drainage complaints [and] the roads have lime rock on them and they've been dusty."
A total of 2.5 miles of roads is included in the project: Wymore, Debi, Pinetree, Sunwood and the portion of Nadine Road that connects them. "We're going to do drainage improvements to get the water moving like it's supposed to," said Walrond. "Then we're going back in and pave it with open grade asphalt which will also help the drainage."
The project will be funded with $849,306 in state grants and $435,102 in county funds. "I don't think we would have done this project… at least in the near future, especially in today's economic climate… if we hadn't gotten the state grants," said Waldron.
The scope of work includes replacement of two cross drains on John Pitts Road. One is part of the drainage improvement project; the other is included in a separate October project to repave John Pitts Road from Star Avenue to U.S. Highway 231 and Pinetree Road from John Pitts Road to the highway.
"Those two crossings are going to require a complete closure of John Pitts Road and inconvenience those folks that are living east of the project area," said Walrond. Each road closure will last approximately five days, he said.
Once the drainage improvements and paving are completed, property owners and anyone who drives the affected roads will see the benefits. "First of all, they won't have to look at standing water in ditches and they won't have to contend with the dust," said Walrond. "Plus, they will have paved roads to keep their cars clean."
Walrond said the project is scheduled to get underway by late August and will take six months to complete.