City tries to beat asphalt plant closing

Published 10:26 am Monday, December 5, 2016

With the closing of asphalt plants looming, Oxford contractors and city officials are working fast to complete current road projects.

The new intersection of Price Street and Molly Barr Road is almost complete, according to Public Works Director Bart Robinson. The end of the road was moved to meet Molly Barr farther north to give the Oxford Activity Center a larger campus for a future expansion.

The road would have been completed a little earlier, however, a turning lane was left off the city’s design plan for the road, which caused the contractor to have to re-mill the road and put in the turning lane.

“It was just an oversight,” he said. “I drove the road the first day it was open and noticed we had left out the turning lane.”

Robinson said permanent striping will be put down this week.

“We had to give it a few days to let the asphalt dry,” he said.

The new intersection has been open to traffic for about two weeks while the contractor completed asphalting and curb work.

The traffic signal, still located at the old intersection, will be moved to the new intersection sometime in the next two weeks.

“We’re just waiting for the controller to come in,” Robinson said.

At the other end of Price Street where it meets North Lamar Boulevard, the city has been working to narrow the intersection to make it easier for pedestrians to cross Price Street when walking down North Lamar.

“We’re making it more pedestrian friendly,” Robinson said. “People had nearly 200 feet to cross there so we’re narrowing that space.”

Asphalt plants generally close sometime in December as the temperatures start to drop.

“They could close any time now,” Robinson said. “Generally, they’re always closed in time for Christmas.”

Robinson said he expects the plants to close within the next 10 days.

“So we’re really pushing to get these paving projects complete,” he said.

South and North Ninth Streets have both been repaved and striping should be complete this week.

“That project was supposed to be done during the summer, but then we had the project on University Avenue where they closed the Gertrude Ford Bridge to upgrade it,” he said. “We didn’t feel we could bite off that bullet so we held off.”

Robinson asks that any residents who notice any areas where asphalt was dug up during the summer and fall to fix utilities contact his office to get them repaved before the plants close.

“When we have a sewer issue or electrical line problem, we sometimes have to dig up the asphalt to get to the lines,” he said. “We try to make sure we go back and repave those areas but sometimes we may miss one or two.”

To report any areas of asphalt that were dug up recently, call Robinson at the Publics Work Office at 662-232-2306.