While President Biden and Congress clash over his proposed “infrastructure” bill, the city of Brunswick is putting in real work to make sure its 104 miles of roadways are in the best shape possible.
The city has undertaken an ambitious project of filming all of the roadways within the city limits to assess their condition. Every crack, pothole, drainage problem, structured distress and dynamic segmentation will be on full display to see.
City staff will work with consultants to use the video to compile a priority list for roads that need to be fixed first. The idea is to fix those in the worst condition first so that the problems don’t lead to a total rebuild.
This is a proactive solution to help keep city roads in the best shape possible. You can’t solve a problem until you know the full extent of what’s wrong. By taking a video assessment of every road in the city, staff will be able to see which problem areas urgently need to be addressed.
The good news is that City Manager Regina McDuffie told commissioners that the study didn’t reveal any surprises and that there are roads that can be saved before the problems get too bad. The work the city did to correct the persistent problems on L Street inspires confidence that the other issues can also be fixed.
L Street was arguably one of the worst roads to travel on in the entire county. Drainage issues meant a light rain would cause standing water to build while larger storms made the road practically impassible. It was also far from a smooth ride as bumps and potholes littered the asphalt, with one particularly bad dip near Historic Edo Miller Field forcing cars to slow down to single digits to navigate it without risking damage to the vehicle.
While the project to fix L Street took longer than expected because Atlanta Gas Light chose to do more repairs than originally planned during the project, the street is now a smooth ride and doesn’t become a small creek when it rains. If the city can fix L Street, it should have no problem tackling other roadway issues.
Of course, all of these repairs will have to be paid for somehow. Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey said the city lacks funding for any new road projects. City officials are hopeful that a new SPLOST will be approved to help pay for any fixes.
The city shouldn’t put all of its hopes on that though, as voter approval for a new SPLOST is not a guarantee considering the last proposal was voted down. It wouldn’t hurt for the city to have a backup plan to fund the most needed repairs.