More than 4 miles of freshly paved roads are coming soon to Alexander City.
The soon-to-be smooth roads are part of the Alexander City Road Improvement Program (ACRIP) approved by the Alexander City City Council in November 2014 and the first asphalt just months later. The paving is thanks to a sales tax levied at the time and roads to be paved are decided by a computer program first developed by the military.
“MicroPAVER was developed about 50 years ago by the Air Force,” Alexander City Public Works director Gerard Brewer said. “It has been refined many, many times over the years.”
Brewer said the program tried to make the best use the funding it can.
“It tries to put paving where it gets the most bang for the buck,” Brewer said. “It puts the most asphalt on the ground with the money you got.”
Brewer said the council approved a ½-cent sales when the program was approved.
“It provides about $1.2 million in funding a year,” Brewer said. “It takes about $2.4 million to fully what the program says needs paving. That would take a 1-cent sales tax and the council decided at the time for ½ cent.”
Even fully funded, the worst streets in town would not be paved under the MicroPAVER program. Brewer said those streets require much more work.
“The program tells us what roads can be paved for between $75,000 and $200,000 per mile,” Brewer said. “Those score between 55 and 75 in the program.”
Brewer said the MicroPAVER program requires input from detailed studies of roads.
“We evaluated every road when we started in 2014,” Brewer said. “Every year 25% of the roads are reevaluated.”
Brewer said the program requires detail information about 15 different road deformities from a sample of 100 feet of every 1,000 feet of road. After the information is inputted, MicroPAVER goes to work.
“It takes all the specific data and damage and assesses it,” Brewer said. “It makes predictions about roads that were not sampled in a year. Later when a road is sampled, it determines if the road is deteriorating faster than expected.”
Monday the council approved a bid of $895,349.33 from Gary Ingram Paving.
Those roads include:
• Briarwood Drive from Highway ww to Oakwoods Lane
• Cedar Hollow Drive from Cedar Lane to the end of the cul-de-sac
• College Street from Auburn Drive to the end of the city right of way
• Hydrangea Circle from Halliana Road to Halliana Road
• Meadowbrook Road from Lafayette Street to Valley Road
• Murphy Street from Trussell Road to Rebecca Avenue
• Springhill Road from Highway 22 to County Road and from County Road to U.S. Highway 280
• Temple Circle from Airport Boulevard to Airport Boulevard
• Logan Street from Temple Circle to the end of city right of way
• University Circle from Magnolia Street to Magnolia Street
• Valley Road from Lafayette Street to Meadow Brook Road
• Warren Hill Road from Lafayette Street to Glenhaven Drive
• Wilma Street from Dadeville Road to Tracery Road
The remaining funds from the $1.2 million will be used for striping and patching.
Many residents will complain there are worse roads, Brewer said.
“Yes there are worse roads,” Brewer said. “Those roads can cost between $450,000 and $650,000 per mile to fix.”
Brewer said roads that come to mind worse than those being paved next month include Arrowhead Road and Ann Street. While he would like to see them paved, those roads need a different funding source.
“We will look at those through projects,” Brewer said. “We can use gas tax monies and funds from Rebuild Alabama for those. A project from last year was Adamson Street. It’s all about making the dollar go as far as it can.”