Winding their way through a neighborhood on the northwest side of Greenwood is a set of roads riddled with cracks that are among the worst in the city.
That description isn’t hyperbole. A city-wide study ranked a collection of roads in the Foxmoor neighborhood as being some of the worst in Greenwood.
The good news for residents in the nearly 100 homes on the southeast section of the State Road 135 and Fry Road intersection: These roads are among the several dozen the city has prioritized repairing this summer as officials look for more ways to keep up with an ever-increasing demand for road repairs.
David Green, who has lived in the neighborhood for about a decade, said he is glad to hear that repairs may be imminent. Each spring he worries about the condition of the road, wondering if any potholes are going to form.
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Foxmoore neighborhood resident Nancy Love, who said she is happy with how proactive the city is with road repairs, is glad that it will soon be her neighborhood’s turn.
“I was wondering when they would get around to it,” she said.
With annual funding levels far below what is necessary to simply keep the city’s nearly 214 miles of roads from deteriorating any further, city officials are using a combination of additional money from the city’s general fund, state grants and loans to raise the amount of money they are investing back into the city’s road system each year.
The combination of state and city funds will now average out to about $2 million per year, a figure that remains more than half-a-million dollars shy of the amount the city needs to maintain its roads at the average condition they are in now.
A 2016 study, which ranked each section of Greenwood’s 214 miles of roads on a scale of one to 10, gave the city streets an average rating of nearly 6, with 10 being the highest possible ranking.
Just to keep the road system from deteriorating further, Greenwood should be spending an average of $2.8 million per year to resurface and repair roads. The city has been averaging just $1.6 million per year, Greenwood Capital Projects Manager Kevin Steinmetz said.
During the past nine years it has repaved an average of five miles a year, he said.
City officials have used both short-term and long-term options to fill in this funding grant. Greenwood used $1 million leftover from a one-time state payment to earn a $1 million matching grant toward street repairs, he said.
Officials also plan to dedicated another $350,000 from the city’s general fund. How that money will be offset hasn’t been decided yet, though at least a portion of it could come from expected increases in the city’s property tax revenue, Steinmetz said.
However, instead of adding another $350,000 a year to road repairs, city officials elected to front-load that money by taking out a nearly $2 million, 5-year loan. That proposal has been presented to the Greenwood City Council, which will need to approve it next month.
By conducting a larger project every five years rather than smaller ones every single year, the city is able to get better deals with contractors, as there is more competition for more expensive projects, and economies of scale can make larger projects less costly, Steinmetz said.
That will leave the city with two rotating loans for street repairs, one which will be renewed every four to five years and a second, nearly $3 million loan that will be renewed every eight to 10 years. With those two loans and the extra state funding and grants, Greenwood will spend at least nearly $12 million on road repairs during the next four years.
Additional funding can come from sources such as the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission, which is paying $75,000 this summer for repairs to a section of Commerce Drive, Steinmetz said.
The list of roads the city wants to resurface is a couple dozen long. Which ones will be fixed in 2017 will depend on how far the city can stretch the nearly $5 million it plans on spending this year, something that won’t known until contractors start making bids for the work, Steintmetz said.
Any of the priority roads that aren’t resurfaced this year will likely be near the top of the list in 2018, he said.
The dubious honor of being the worst road in Greenwood goes to a two-mile stretch of Honey Creek Road from Whiteland Road to Stones Crossing, which received a rating of three last year. Given the poor condition of that road, it will be rebuilt rather than resurfaced. The plan for 2017 is for work to be done from Whiteland Road to Smokey Row Road. Another road where a full reconstruction is planned is Emerson Avenue from Pushville Road to the city limits.
Outside of road repairs, several downtown alleys near Madison Avenue, Wiley Street, Meridian Street and Broadway Street will also be resurfaced along with the Pearl Street parking lot and the Fire Station 93 parking lot.
Greenwood officials plan to spend about $5 million this year to repair city roads, alleys and parking lots. Here is a look at the projects being considered for this summer.
- Polk Manor Drive
- Stokley Boulevard
- Gerdt Court
- Foxmere Boulevard
- Foxmere Way
- Foxmere Terrace
- Foxmere Drive
- Oakmere Way
- VanDyke Way
- Camby Court
- Crescent Drive
- Kenwood Drive
- Kimbrough Drive
- Stop 18 Road
- Brook Drive
- Brook Village Drive
- Cottage Lane
- Stonemill Drive
- Emerson Avenue
- Woodland Place
- Woodland Drive
- Apple Valley Road
- Orchard Hill Lane
- Stonegate Road
- Winding Brook Lane
- Nancy Lane
- Horton Street
- Emerson Avenue from Pushville Road to city limits
- Honey Creek Road from Whiteland Road to Smokey Row Road
- Downtown alleys near Madison Avenue, Wiley Street, Meridian Street and Broadway Street
- Pearl Street parking lot
- Fire Station 93 parking lot