A section of road in Greenwood that could someday be remade as a new north-south corridor is set to be rebuilt this year, along with another that is getting more and more traffic as new neighborhoods go up near the city’s newest interstate interchange.
For drivers, that will mean having to deal with months of road work later this year. But, once the work is done, they will no longer have to dodge cracks, holes and bumps on the roads that have been deteriorating for years.
This year, Greenwood is planning to spend $913,000 rebuilding sections of three roads: Honey Creek Road, between Smokey Row Road and Whiteland Road, South Emerson Avenue, between Pushville Road and the southern city limits, and on Commission Road, between County Line Road and East Street in the Imperial Hills subdivision.
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On South Emerson Avenue, the pavement was in such poor condition that the city had its workers put a temporary, thin layer of asphalt on top so that chunks of pavement wouldn’t be crumbling off before they could rebuild the road, Greenwood City Engineer Daniel Johnston said.
All three roads will be ground down to their base so crews can rebuild them with new base material and pavement. The work is needed because each of the roads has deteriorated so badly that simply repaving them won’t fix the issues such as re-occurring potholes, Johnston said
The areas around where work is planned on Honey Creek Road and South Emerson Avenue have had an uptick of home construction in recent years, with more on the way. Construction in the 450-home Cherry Tree neighborhood along Honey Creek Road is set to begin this year. The road is one Greenwood has identified as being a secondary north-south route to help alleviate traffic on an increasingly busy State Road 135, and officials have said tax dollars collected in the new tax increment financing, or TIF, district along the state highway could be used for further improvements to Honey Creek Road.
The area along South Emerson Avenue has also become busier, especially after the city’s newest Interstate 65 interchange was added in 2015, with home construction taking place at The Preserve South Lake and Briarstone along the nearby Worthsville Road. Westport Homes is requesting approval from the Greenwood City Council to construct about 150 townhomes on land east of U.S. 31 between Worthsville Road and Stop 18 Road. And in 2015, a developer received approval to construct a 100-home neighborhood on 28 acres southeast of Worthsville Road and Emerson Avenue, but work on that project hasn’t begun yet, Greenwood Planning Director Bill Peeples said.
Those neighborhoods combined would have close to 400 homes remaining to be constructed, he said.
Initially, the plan had been to do the work last year, but the city didn’t have enough funds to cover every road project on its list of annual paving projects, which totaled more than $3 million last year.
Now, the city is using money from a state grant program to help cover the work. The city will pay for half of the cost of the projects from existing funds it has set aside for roadwork this year, and the other half will come from the more than $450,000 the city got from the Community Crossings program, which was started in 2016 as a way to help pay for local road and infrastructure projects.
Last year, another road in the Imperial Hills subdivision, Easy Street, was rebuilt using money from the Community Crossings program. The work on Commission Road will be done in phases to allow residents to have access to their homes, Johnston said. Wheelchair ramps will be added along the road at intersections with sidewalks, he said.
A start date for the work hasn’t been determined yet, but it will be done this summer, he said.
The roads were targeted for repair based on road condition studies the city conducts every year, Johnston said. A 2016 study rated each city road on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being a new road in perfect condition. The section of Commission Road which is proposed to be rebuilt rated as a six on that scale, while the section of South Emerson Avenue rated as a four, and the section of Honey Creek Road was given a three rating, the lowest amount any Greenwood road received.