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After a record-setting year of 38 miles of road repaved in 2020, Walker County is planning to expand efforts for 2021 and repave 52 miles in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Plans call for 25 roads to be resurfaced over the course of the year, with work set to start closer to the spring months when the weather warms back up, according to county Public Relations Director Joe Legge.

Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield held a meeting on Dec. 8 to open various bids from companies pitching themselves and their prices for a chance to complete the project.

On Dec. 10, Whitfield approved the bid from Talley Construction of Rossville, which had the lowest bid. The commissioner praised Talley for its competitiveness, even as a smaller, local contractor, and said the county has worked with the company in the past.

"Out of the four times we've had road paving bidding, this was probably the most competitive," Whitfield said of the five companies that put their hats in the ring. "We're very, very tickled that Talley has been able to fend off the other competitors, even some of the big ones. So we're very proud of them and appreciate what they've done to give us the lowest cost and high-quality product."

Whitfield is hoping that approving the contract prior to the beginning of the year will allow the work to start as soon as possible — unlike this year, as there is still work to be done as the final month of 2020 comes to an end.

"This will probably take pretty much the full year for them to get all of these roads done, so that's why we need to get this done, this being the largest paving project," he said. "Last year we didn't get started quite as early, and they still have not been able to get it all done. We're already getting into the winter months, so that's why we needed to get this started early."

According to officials, unincorporated Walker County has 674 miles of road, 117 of which will have been repaved in the last four years by the end of 2021.

The project will be funded by a 1-cent transportation-specific special purpose local option sales tax (TSPLOST) passed in 2017, in addition to other state and local funds.

The roads to be repaved are:

* Center Point Road

* Dougherty Gap Road

* Dripping Springs Road

* East Broomtown Road

* Garretts Chapel Road

* Glass Mill Road

* Gordon Pond Road

* Grand Center Road

* Harrisburg Road

* Johnson Road

* Lofton Lane

* Marble Top Road

* North Marble Top Road

* Meadow Drive

* Mission Ridge Road

* Mt. Carmel Road

* New Home Road

* North Dick Creek Road

* Overbrook Drive

* Parker Lane

* South Crest Road

* Veeler Road

* West Cove Road

* Wheeler Road

* Woodstation Road

Contact Tierra Hayes at tierrathejournalist@gmail.com.

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