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Council approves plan to update streets in Greenville

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Apr 23 2013 07:05:12 PM CDT
GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

Greenville city council recently approved a $3-5 million dollar "Good Roads Initiative" that will resurface 100 miles of roads in desperate need of improvements.

"I think the roads in Greenville are really mixed up like you can be on one street and it's smooth and fine and then you get on another street and it's bumpy and dangerous and potholes everywhere and stuff," Precious Sherman, a resident of Greenville, said.

"It's not good for your car because it can knock it out of [alignment] and it will cost you more money to fix," Judy Williams said.

City leaders said it's going to cost $100,000 per mile to fix the roads. However, they believe the end result will be worth the cost.

“Sometimes the surface of a road may look good but we found the sub-surface there may be failing. If we don't get out and fix it now then a $100,000 problem becomes a million dollar per mile issue. So, once you get behind you can never catch up,” Mayor Allen Thomas said.

Thomas said when he came into office the roads were being repaired every 75 years and that didn’t sit well with him. The new plan will update the roads every 25 years.

Most of the money will come from the Powell Bill, according to Thomas. He said the city is allocated $2 million every year for road repairs. The additional money needed will come from reserve money.

Mayor Thomas said the city needs to be using all of the money given to them each year for road repairs. However, last year the city only used $200,000 for road repairs. Something Thomas said if unacceptable.

As far as knowing the exact roads they plan to work on, Mayor Thomas said the list is still being finalized by public works and needs approval from the city council. However, South Pitt Street, between 1st Street and 5th Street, will definitely be on the list for immediate repairs.

“We want to make sure we're balancing between the community neighborhood which need help now--they have been asking for it for a long time--and also our major thoroughfares which keep this city running with our employers,” he said.

While most people we talked with were frustrated with the uneven roads, there were others that stood behind the city.

“Overall, I think the roads are in good condition. Uh, obviously there are going to be roads that need repairs. I see signs of asphalt being paved on a fairly regular basis and that's encouraging,” Perry Ennis said.

None of the road work is expected to begin until after the budget is approved in June. Officials hope to start work on the most needed roads in July. They expect to complete the project by September.