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County OKs paving for Blue Jay, McCall
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A Savannah company is expected to start in the next few weeks on a paving project that will affect traffic on two major Effingham County roads.

Effingham County commissioners approved a contract with Carroll and Carroll for approximately $3.1 million to pave sections of Blue Jay and McCall roads. The company will have 180 days to complete the work once it is given the notice to proceed.

The paving will cover about 10 miles of road, according to interim county administrator Toss Allen.

“We’ve been talking about this project for about four years,” he said. “All of this is work that needs to get done.”

The county is using $1.8 million from special purpose local option sales tax receipts and $1.2 million from state Department of Transportation local maintenance improvement grants. Work is expected to start in earnest in April and be finished by late August.

“If paving started, that would be a wonderful thing,” said Chairman Wendall Kessler. “I’m happy we’ll be able to tell people we’re going to do something on those roads.”

Allen said the county anticipates having the East-West connector in its transportation plan, which Blue Jay Road and McCall Road is another potential route for the Effingham Parkway north-south connector.

The paving will resurface Blue Jay Road from the railroad tracks near the intersection with McCall Road to Blue Jay’s crossing with Midland Road. McCall Road will be resurfaced from its end at Blue Jay Road to its intersection with Ralph Rahn Road. The paving project was designed according to state Department of Transportation standards for heavy truck traffic.

According to county officials, Blue Jay’s current surface is insufficient for the amount of traffic, including trucks, that traverse it and as a result, it is in serious disrepair. McCall Road has the same surface and volume issues as Blue Jay.

The new pavement will put both Blue Jay and McCall in a condition similar to the new Old Augusta Road, Allen said.

Effingham County’s current short-term work program estimated the paving cost to be approximately $2.4 million. Repairs for ash and paved road repairs usually receive $700,000 each in funding.

For the 2014-15 cycle, ash road repairs are budgeted at $1.3 million.

The ash road repair contract has come in under the anticipated budget, and commissioners also want to proceed with a fix to Bunyan Kessler Road.

“I’ve had nothing but people say, ‘when are you going to start?’” Chairman Kessler said of Bunyan Kessler Road repairs.

The county has 32 miles of paved roads on which it wants to perform maintenance.