Streetscape work underway

City project to cost $63,000

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — A six-man crew from the city of Rockingham’s Department of Public Works continued work early Thursday afternoon on a four-block area in downtown Rockingham. The work is part of the city’s latest streetscape project to improve safety, aesthetics and the health of vegetation in the area.

Josiah Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com City of Rockingham workers continue to make progress on the latest streetscape project in the downtown area.

Josiah Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
City of Rockingham workers continue to make progress on the latest streetscape project in the downtown area.

Mayor Steve Morris and members of the City Council approved the project at their Dec. 9 regular public meeting. The project area includes the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of East Washington Street — which includes the area from Rocking Trends Consignment and Boutique and the former Fidelity Bank, to the still-under-construction Hitchcock Place and Pattan’s Downtown Grille, Discovery Place KIDS and more — as well as the 100 block of South Hancock Street, with the county administrative offices and Henry’s Uptown Cafe, among other businesses. It’s been nearly 16 years since the last enhancement project was completed in this location.

A total of 41 Muskogee crepe myrtle trees will replace the existing trees. The Muskogee, according to city planner John Massey, has a more compact width and height.

Sections of the brick pavers in the sidewalk, especially around the tree planters, continue to settle and create uneven walking surfaces and trip hazards, Massey told city officials in a December memo. Removing and raising sections of the pavers to eliminate the uneven walking surfaces became a recurring issue after the 1998 installation of the pavers. City staff, including Richard Haugen, Ken Everett, Charles Collins, Robert Shoe, Donnie Roberts and J.B. Jefferies, will install a concrete base under the pavers to prevent settling.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Richard Haugen, director of the city of Rockingham's Department of Public Works, mans the backhoe and pulls up a tree stump at the corner of East Washington and South Hancock streets.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Richard Haugen, director of the city of Rockingham’s Department of Public Works, mans the backhoe and pulls up a tree stump at the corner of East Washington and South Hancock streets.

The street trees also presented a maintenance issue, as some have grown so large that extensive pruning was necessary to keep them off adjacent buildings. That extensive pruning is not good for the long-term health of the tree, Massey told city leaders.

Planter grates will be installed where ever they are not currently placed in more than two dozen locations. Adding the grates will create uniformity in the project area and give the sidewalk a cleaner, neater appearance. They’ll also keep rocks off the sidewalk.

The cost of the project is mostly covered by Powell Bill funds. A breakdown of the projected costs is as follows:

* $36,000 — 28 boulevard collection tree grates
* $15,000 — Concrete and related materials
* $6,000 — 41 Muskogee crepe myrtle trees
* $5,000 — 41 LED light fixtures with receptacle
* $1,000 — brick pavers.

 

 

 

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Rockingham

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  • Joe Morris

    Great article! Source of funds is actually the Powell Bill, which is a state law that distributes gasoline taxes for local street and sidewalk projects.

    • Kevin Spradlin

      We’ll fix that. Thank you!

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