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County crew equipped for paving repairs

County manager John Hanson told Pike commissioners that the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant project was approved for Williamson-Zebulon Road. Road work and paving equipment have become top issues for commissioners in 2015 with plans to begin paving repairs as soon as temperatures are high enough. Pike has received nearly all the equipment needed to patch and resurface county roads, including a new zipper machine. Public works employees were trained to use the machine Wednesday, Feb. 4, on McKinley Road. The $125,000 machine was purchased with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funding. ’This machine will cut up a four-foot section of road, grind it up and place it back in the hole, saving the county what would be paid on crush and run and gravel,’ said Hanson. ‘Countywide, we felt like SPLOST funding is better used if all roads can be improved. Spending $1.2 million would not go far on one or two roads, but using all this equipment with county manpower, we will be able to work on and fix issues on all county roads.’ Hanson said once the weather is warm enough, paving repairs will begin on roads that need the most attention. ’We’re going to progressively work around the county starting with a list of roads created during the road workshop,’ he said. ‘The work schedule will depend on the weather, so if conditions are good employees may work Tuesday through Saturday instead of Monday through Thursday.’ He said hopefully road work will begin in March. Temperatures need to stay around 50 degrees or above for asphalt to be laid and to cure correctly. At the Jan. 27 meeting, commissioners approved the lease of a mini excavator rather than having two rubber tire backhoes. ’This will make us much more mobile when we need a piece of equipment such as this,’ said Hanson. ‘Instead of taking out the big excavator we can haul this with a trailer and truck as opposed to a low boy trailer.’

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