A whole lotta pavin’ goin on…

A whole lotta pavin’ goin on…

Marion, county roads set to get a new layer of asphalt this summer


Crittenden County and Marion will soon be firing up the paving equipment as road workers get set to begin their annual round of street overlays.

County Judge Woody Wheeless said they will be finalizing the county’s road paving plans as soon as the bids for the work are in.

“I’ve got multiple roads across the county that we have put bids out for to be able to get sections of some of these roads paved,” Wheeless said. “I’m just waiting on those bids to come in.”

One of the projects already on tap will be Old River Road between Clarkedale and Turrell.

Wheeless said he’s already had ARDOT look at the road for possible funding from the state aid street fund for about $224,000.

The county will only be responsible for a ten percent match. “So if we do that project, even if it maxed out at $224,000, the county would only have to put up $22,000,” Wheeless said.

The money would allow the county to resurface about a mile of that roadway.

The rest of the paving projects will be evaluated when the bids come in. The county budgeted about $700,000 for paving this year, which should allow the county to overlay about seven or eight miles of roads.

“That’s not much,” Wheeless said. “But between it and the state aid, we will do a little under a million dollars of paving this year. Our county roads are in pretty good shape. We continue to maintain them and work on them every day.”

In Marion, road crews are already working to get Patriot Drive ready for a fresh layer of asphalt.

Street Department Director Gordon Floyd said they are busy widening the road and fixing drainage and erosion problems.

“That’s what we are going to be focusing on over the next couple of weeks,” Floyd said.

Floyd said they expect to begin paving Patriot Drive in about two weeks.

And depending on their budget, crews will also focus on Gavin Road and River Trace Drive this summer.

“We will prioritize those once we get done with Patriot Drive,” Floyd said.

“Gavin Road will be a total overlay. That road is deteriorating badly. And we will be doing some patching on River Trace.”

Marion budgets about $500,000 each year for paving.

Floyd said in the fall they will turn their attention to widening the streets behind the elementary school in anticipation of the state’s plans to widen Military Road.

Busses and parents will no longer be able to drop off children in front of the

school on Military Road once the road is reconfigured to three lanes. Floyd said the city has already

done a lot of work on Shafer Street and Pine Street so that busses will be able to get in and out safely.

“We’ve got to get ready for when they do widen Military Road,” Floyd said.

By Mark Randall