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Pike to spend $8.8 million on roads over six years

Pike County’s roads have been greatly improved in the past few years and will see a total of $8.8 million in road improvements over a six-year period, with many upcoming projects in the works to be funded by SPLOST dollars and the state’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Grants. The six-year SPLOST – which was approved last year by voters solely for road improvements – ends in 2022 and has already resulted in the resurfacing of many frequently-used roads in the county, including Roberts Quarters Road, Patton Road, Kinds Bridge Road, Old Meansville Road, Gresham Road, Old Zebulon Road, Flat Shoals Road and Eppinger Bridge Road. Future roads to be resurfaced using SPLOST funding include Reidsboro Road, Smyrna Church Road and Rosehill Road. SPLOST funding will also be used for unpaved repairs and surface treatments. Due to more people spending money in the county, the collections of one cent per dollar spent have been higher than expected. ’Right now our SPLOST collections are up,’ said county manager John Hanson. ‘Compared to last year’s collections, they are already $100,000 higher. We plan on using those funds to move projects forward so we can get more projects completed.’ In addition to using state and local funding to pay contractors for road improvements, the county has also purchased paving equipment to improve county roads. In 2016, nearly $100,000 in SPLOST funds were used to purchase equipment which will allow county crews to lay asphalt in areas where it is needed most. ’The goal is to use the funding to eliminate the biggest problem areas first and when we get all the main thoroughfares which are used by everyone complete, then we can focus on other roads that need improvement,’ said Hanson. Roads that have been paved using LMIG funding include Williamson-Zebulon Road – which was also widened – New Hope Road and Jonathan’s Roost Road which is an ongoing project. ’The approval of House Bill 170 in 2015 is having a significant positive impact on Pike County,’ said county manager Hanson. ‘Prior to HB170, our annual LMIG distribution was $338,863. Our current annual distribution is $449,000. This increase has made an immediate and positive impact on our annual budget.’ Future roads to be resurfaced using LMIG funding include East Milner Road, Howell Road, Chapell Hill Road, Wilder Road, Adams Road, Bottoms Road, Bankston Road, Kendrick Road, County Farm Road, Buchanan Road, River Road, Hemphill Road, Buffington Road, Flat Rock Road, Lifsey Springs Road, Watering Hole Pass, Trails End, Ranch Gap, Alabama Road, Old Lifsey Springs Road and Concord Road. ’In 2016, we received additional LMIG funding of $190,000 that enabled Pike County to address two major issues in regards to transportation. The additional dollars provided funding to widen Kings Bridge Road which has the second highest traffic count in Pike and is a major corridor regionally that provides connection from State Route 362 in Pike to State Route 16 in Spalding. This funding allowed Pike to raise the bar on safety standards to one of our most vital county routes,’ said Hanson. ‘In addition, these funds also made possible a new access road to our county school system. The new access road – named Pirates Cove – is providing much-needed relief on Highway 19 and Old Meansville Road in Zebulon. Congestion in these areas has been a problem for years in Pike. This improvement has made a tremendous positive impact not only for our citizens but also for those traveling through Pike County. Neither of these projects would have been possible without the additional LMIG dollars provided by HB170.’

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