Kirkland Road getting resurfaced

COVINGTON - A 2.5 mile portion of Kirkland Road will be resurfaced using SPLOST revenues.

The Board of Commissioners recently approved the low bid for the project by ER Snell Contractor Inc., at $492,392.96. The road will be resurfaced from the intersection of Jack Neely Road to Salem Road, said Tom Garrett, county engineer.

The project should begin the first week of November, and, weather permitting, should take 10 to 15 working days to complete, Garrett said.

"Motorists can expect temporary lane closures, with no detours. However, to avoid delays resulting from temporary lane closures motorists can use alternate routes or just budget a little extra time for their trip," he said.

The board also approved at its Oct. 16 meeting a contract to receive $105,000 from the Georgia Department of Transportation to partially fund the replacement of Mt. Tabor Road Bridge over the Yellow River.

The middle portion of the bridge will be replaced, and piers will be reconstructed in a sturdier fashion to hold up better in the river.

The project cost is expected to be just under $500,000, paid primarily through 2011 SPLOST revenues.

The bridge has been closed to vehicles weighing more than 8 tons, such as fire trucks and school buses, since 2009, but once repairs are complete, it will be safe for all traffic.

Construction will take seven to nine months and is expected to begin in January. The bridge will be closed during that time and a detour will be established.

Finally, the board agreed to apply for a loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority for solar powered reservoir circulators, also known as solar bees, for Lake Varner and City Pond.

Solar bees are a green technology that will help to oxygenate the water to improve quality of water in the lake and reduce the amount of chemicals needed for treatment, according to Jason Nord, facility plant manager at Cornish Creek Water Treatment Plant. The improvement in water quality will also benefit wildlife and fishing, he said.

The estimated cost for delivery, installation and start-up of the solar bees is $810,986.20. The county has qualified for special funding through a federal program that will save more than $107,000 on the retail purchase price of the equipment. There is also an annual maintenance cost of $20,275. The project will be paid for through the water enterprise fund.