Peachtree City is falling behind on its road and cart path repaving and needs an infusion of capital over the next several years to catch up, the city council learned at a workshop meeting March 4.
The city in the past has budgeted $1.5 million a year to repave and repair streets and paths, but that will almost certainly have to be bumped up to allow for more work. Councilman Eric Imker suggested looking at ways to double that amount to $3 million a year.
With 178 miles of roads and 97 miles of cart paths, the city can’t afford to fall behind on road and path maintenance, because they deteriorate over time and the longer the wait, the longer the list gets, explained Community Services Director Jon Rorie.
A third of the city’s streets need significant repair or complete repaving, and making that happen would cost a minimum of $6.4 million, and up to $19.9 million, Rorie said.
The larger figure is for a “full depth reclamation” which cuts down to the base of the road and rebuilds the road from scratch. The smaller figure is for putting a two-inch overlay of asphalt on the existing pavement, which may not be cost effective over the long haul since many of the streets’ problems exist beneath the surface, city officials have said in the past.
Until the city figures out a way to fund the street and path work, the city will continue to pave the worst-rated streets and paths each year, Rorie said. He cautioned that if such a process continues, more and more city streets and paths will continue to erode and the list of repaving projects will grow each year.
“It looks like we’re losing ground and not gaining it,” said Councilman Terry Ernst.
Manpower wise, the city has a seven-man street paving crew and a seven-man cart path crew. The street paving crew is supplemented by contracted work with private paving companies, but no such luxury is available for the cart path paving crew, since contractors won’t bid on small 10 and 12-foot wide paths when they can be doing much larger street projects, Rorie explained.
The cart path crew can get about 5 miles of path fixed each year, but they are restricted from improving on that figure due to equipment and manpower limitations. It will take more equipment, manpower and supplies to eclipse the 5-mile mark, Rorie noted.
Council got a quick briefing on proposed path improvement projects, but nearly all were sidelined for the moment due to the funding shortage. One that stands a chance to advance is a small connection in the Cedarcroft subdivision that would cost an estimated $22,000 to prevent carts from having to cross the busy MacDuff Parkway twice just to reach the commercial area on Ga. Highway 54.
Another path project with some gumption is connecting the Carriage Lane area to the Peachtree Crossings shopping center just outside the city limits.
The city also faces a decision on the existing path tunnel underneath Crosstown Road, as the growing height of golf carts has made its seven-foot ceiling a tight squeeze if not impossible, officials reported. Council also talked about adding a path to connect that tunnel on the north side of Crosstown to the McDonalds/car wash/hotel and storage commercial area near Ga. Highway 74, but those options were far too expensive as well.