Within a few weeks, residents of A Road between Okeechobee Blvd. and North Road should be riding on a smooth, two-inch layer of asphalt after the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday, April 20 to approve a $347,254 contract with paving company Hardrives Inc.
The work will include the installation of 11 speed tables, double-yellow thermoplastic striping down the middle and white thermoplastic lines on both road edges.
Craig Elmore, vice president of the Delray Beach firm, estimated it would take approximately two weeks to get the two-mile project started, and another two weeks to complete it. “It means a lot to get something moving forward,” said Councilwoman Marianne Miles, who was elected in March on a pro-paving platform.
However, Councilwoman Phillis Maniglia argued that it would be better to patch A Road at a cost of $71,000 and use the remaining money to patch and improve several problem roads.
“We’ve got four OGEM roads that are falling apart,” Maniglia said. “What about relief for these other roads?”
“In the past, [the council] has gone for cheaper solutions,” Miles said. “I don’t want to revisit this road a year or a year-and-a-half from now.”
Councilwoman Marge Herzog agreed that if A Road was merely patched, “we’ll face the same issue in a very short time. My thought is, do a good job.”
Maniglia cast the lone dissenting vote.
In other business:
• The council accepted a speed study and traffic count from Bryan Kelley of the engineering firm Simmons & White. The study took place in March and was initiated mainly in the hope that it would justify a traffic signal at the corner of Okeechobee Blvd. and D Road. However, the collected data does not reflect enough traffic through the intersection to support the installation of a light, Kelley said.
• The council reviewed three bids to replace a 96-inch culvert at the intersection of Collecting Canal Road and C Road. The bids ranged from $139,000 to $155,164. The council declined to accept any of the bids and instead asked the town’s engineering firm, Keshavarz & Associates, and Public Works Director Larry Peters to look into the possibility of installing an insert of thick PVC pipe into the existing culvert at a considerable cost savings.
• The council agreed to sell the oft-vilified “Thing-a-Ma-Digger,” used for canal cleaning. The wheeled excavator might sell for as much as $115,000, Peters said. The council said it should not be sold for less than $90,000.
• The council agreed to a three-year lease agreement with Leasing 2 Inc. of Tampa for a Kubota M6-S11SHDC mower with a 60-inch rotary head, 69-inch buzzbar head and quick hitch kit at $55,425.92 per year. The lease is necessary due to the deteriorated condition of the three tractors owned by the town, Peters said, noting that only one is currently in service to deal with the 30 miles of canal bank and roadside berms in the community.