Workers from Atlas Asphalt, Inc. of Batesville resurface a section of East Free Street in front of Walnut Ridge (Ben R. Bush) Elementary Thursday morning. The street is one of six to receive improvements from funding through the State Aid City Streets Program.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl
Six city streets in Walnut Ridge are being resurfaced through funding from the State Aid City Streets Program.
The roadways being improved are County Road 429 (Luther Bridge Road), Pocahontas Road, West and East Free Street, Southeast Sixth Street, Southern Avenue and Midway Road.
A bid from Atlas Asphalt, Inc. of Batesville was approved in July to resurface 4.5 miles of roadways in Walnut Ridge. The bid was $492,477.47, grant money for the project was about $510,000 according to Street Superintendent Rick Ditto and is the biggest grant offered.
Ditto said that a big factor in Walnut Ridge receiving the grant was the roadways' connections to major highways, Walnut Ridge School and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. "We were really fortunate to get that amount," he said.
Resurfacing began last week with Southern Avenue, Southeast Sixth and East Free streets. Roadways were prepped with patches on all dips and potholes and two inches of asphalt were laid over top the surface of the roadways. The city is also working to adjust storm drains and manholes to assure the roads are as level as possible.
Many of the roadways being improved run near Walnut Ridge School. Supt. Terry Belcher said he looks forward to the completion of the project. "It will be very beneficial for the patrons and the staff."
Inclement weather has caused some delays in the project but Ditto remains optimistic that it will be completed soon. "If the weather holds, we hope to get in two to three good work days before the holiday," he said Thursday afternoon.
The resurfacing is projected to be complete before the end of the week.