Florida Keys News
Friday, April 5, 2013
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$1M in new pavement planned

Key West can count on even more roadwork in the near future.

Crews will repave more than 28,000 square yards of residential city streets this year, plunking down up to $990,389 worth of asphalt across the island.

Of the 16 streets on the priority paving list, the longest uninterrupted stretch of new asphalt will land atop Atlantic Boulevard, 5,134 square yards between Stevens to Bertha streets, while the tiniest touch-up will fall on Charles Street, 332 square yards between Telegraph and Duval streets.

But Duck Avenue, which runs through two city districts, will receive the most square yards of new pavement, 6,759, between 14th and 16th streets and between 20th Street to South Roosevelt Boulevard.

Paving should start within the next 30 to 45 days at the latest, Special Projects Designer, Karen Olson said Thursday in an email.

"I met with the contractor today and we are working on the work order," Olson said. "It should be issued in the next couple of weeks."

The City Commission approved the paving on Tuesday without comment, adhering to a June 2012 paving report that said the city should spend at least $750,000 a year or watch the local roads "follow a path of steady deterioration."

Key West has 60.5 miles of residential roadways that add up to 8 million square feet of asphalt and just under $100 million invested in pavement.

Paving, however, is a costly job, and the 28,000 square yard figure is barely a drop in the bucket.

Based on Key West's street lengths and widths, paving 1 square mile costs roughly $1.5 million, according to the city's hired consultant team, CH2M Hill and IMS Infrastructure Management Services.

One square mile equals over 3 million square yards.

The paving work will take place while the state continues to reconstruct North Roosevelt Boulevard, a $42 million project that has disrupted the island's main drag that connects Stock Island down to Old Town.

The state's contractors reported that Thursday was the 346th day of the estimated 867-day project that began April 23, 2012, and is set for completion in August 2014.

This week, project spokesman Dean Walters said crews were 5 percent behind and almost 40 percent finished.

Weather and unexpected underground finds have slowed down the renovation of U.S. 1, Walters said.

"Pretty much every day we're running into something that is not on the plans that we have to deal with," Walters told commissioners at their Tuesday night meeting at Old City Hall.

City staff acknowledged the addition of more construction on the island.

"When issuing any work orders under this contract, the ongoing N. Roosevelt Blvd. construction will be kept in consideration," wrote Olson, in a March 4 memo to the city manager's office.

"Many areas throughout the city are in dire need of asphalt rehabilitation," Olson wrote. "This project will be the beginning of a long-term roadway repair/reconstruction program. Annual funding received from the gas tax fund will make these much needed repairs possible."

The city from now on will reserve about $750,000 each year for paving, Olson wrote.

gfilosa@keysnews.com

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