Nearly 25 alleys that run behind Franklin homes and businesses were paved or rebuilt this spring in a project to make the drives look better and more passable.

An annual alley project was started in 2016, decades after the last time taxpayers spent money to redo the streets. More work is planned for 2018, Franklin city engineer Mark Richards said. This year’s work cost $466,492.

“I think if you drive through the alleys in Franklin, there is a tremendous need to do some additional work,” Richards said.

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This spring, three alleys were paved, and 21 were reconstructed, which means the alleys were removed, stone was put down and the streets were rebuilt, Richards said.

The alleys aren’t as heavily traveled as the main streets or even subdivision streets, but to the homes along the alleys, their condition is important, Richards said. The city has received calls from residents that alleys have become impassable due to crumbling or giant potholes, Richards said. Residents who live along alleys often use them to access parking behind their homes.

The city’s top priority for roadwork is rebuilding streets, followed by maintaining streets through paving projects. Redoing alleys is the third priority, Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett said.

Repaving or rebuilding alleys also makes the city more walkable, reduces dust and improves the appearance, Barnett said.

The rebuilt alleys will last longer than typical city streets due to less traffic. As part of the projects, workers had to trim vegetation that had become overgrown and kept cars from being able to pass through. Drainage was improved on some of the alleys too, Richards said.

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Michele Holtkamp is editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at mholtkamp@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2774.