By Chris Fish
PORT ST. JOHN - On Friday, Oct. 19, a Brevard County Public Works street repaving initiative in North Brevard reached a 100-mile goal with the completion of a resurfacing project on Devon Street in Port St. John.
The initiative, issued by the Board of County Commissioners in January 2011, was paid for through a one-time funding of $10 million, provided through gas tax bond proceeds.
In less than two years, the county has conducted resurfacing work on 300 roads in North Brevard, reaching an unprecedented 100 miles of road resurfacing, said Brevard County Public Works director John Denninghoff.
"We really targeted roads in that area of the county that were in bad conditions," said Don Walker, communications director for Brevard County. "With some strong encouragement and backing from Commissioner Robin Fisher, they were able to get this done."
Commissioner Fisher said he was determined to see 50 miles in Brevard County repaved each year, since the project first began in 2011.
"We set out to change the landscape a little bit and get some dollars in my district to repave some roads, and we gave the Roads and Bridges people a huge goal (of paving) 50 miles this year and 50 miles in 2011," he said in a press release. "That had never been done in history of the county."
"This is a huge accomplishment," Commissioner Fisher said. "I take my hat off to John Denninghoff and his group for understanding my goal and accomplishing it."
Despite achieving the 100-mile landmark, Mr. Walker said that, due to the economic troubles the county has been experiencing since the fall of 2008, the county has not been repaving roads at a normal pace.
Mr. Denninghoff said the target that is needed to sustain the roads in good condition is 52 miles-per-year. Currently, the amount of roads resurfaced annually by the county is 12 to 20 miles-per-year.
In a press release, Commissioner Fisher said the county chose to work on the roads in District 1 in North Brevard due to the large amount of dirt roads in the district.
"We tried to identify, two years ago, a lot of roads that needed repaving and, as you know, we have 93 miles of dirt roads and 83 miles of dirt road in my district," Commissioner Fisher said. "Not to mention, (there are a) bunch of other roads that had not been resurfaced in 25-30 years."
Of the money received, Mr. Walker said $9 million was spent for resurfacing, and $700,000 was used for paving dirt roads.
The roads had not been resurfaced in almost 40 years, Mr. Denninghoff said. The preparation work for the resurfacing on Devon Street started two days before, and the actual resurfacing was completed by noon.