Laurel City Council to identify which roads need repaired in city

Several Laurel city leaders campaigned on road repairs, and now they may have the opportunity to begin delivering on that promise.
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - City of Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee announced the city has $2 million in the budget for paving in fiscal year 2022.

Several Laurel city leaders campaigned on road repairs, and now they may have the opportunity to begin delivering on that promise.

Following the city council meeting Tuesday, paving experts explained the different factors of pavement preservation to the council.

“There are some resurfacings that don’t actually cost as much as others. So it just all depends on the councilperson what roads that they choose and the conditions of the road,” said George Carmichael, Vice President of the Laurel City Council and Public Works Committee Chairman.

We’re told road condition ratings are determined by the Pavement Condition Index. The City of Laurel’s PCI was 48 when evaluated in 2018-2019 according to officials.

“That is not a good rating. You would like for that rating to be higher,” said Neel-Schaffer, Inc. Project Manager Brent Quick.

Though officials say some roads in the city have improved drastically since then, there are still several that need to be repaved.

“That is the goal is to work your streets to a higher PCI value,” Quick said.

With deeper insight into pavement preservation, council members will now identify which roads in their wards need repairs.

“$2 million can only go so far,” Carmichael said. “So, we are asking them to identify the worst of the worst or the streets that is most useable for our constituents.”

However, the roads that physically appear the worst may not be first on the list.

“Typically what happens is your pavement preservation method is worst street gets done first. It’s called ‘worst to first.’ But that is not necessarily the most economical way of managing your network,” Quick said. “There are studies that have shown that if you’ll go through and maintain your network over a period of years, it’s cheaper than not doing anything to that street for several years and then having to go in and rehab it.”

Carmichael says he asked the council members to turn in those streets within the next two weeks.

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