Monthlong Armory Drive repaving project set

Published 10:20 am Saturday, August 7, 2010

FRANKLIN—Slow down, be patient and pay attention.

That’s the advice Franklin Public Works Director Russ Pace has for Armory Drive motorists as crews repave the road. The project, tentatively scheduled to begin on Aug. 16, is expected to last about a month — barring inclement weather.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that while this is being done travel out there is going to be messy, but they will have the appropriate traffic control as needed,” Pace said.

Armory Drive from its intersection with College Drive westward to the city limits will be paved.

The city recently accepted a $467,000 bid from Ahoskie, N.C.-based Rose Brothers Paving for the project. The city and Virginia Department of Transportation are splitting the cost.

Pace said repaving Armory Drive—the city’s busiest road, according to VDOT data—has been planned for three years.

In a memo to the City Council, City Manager June Fleming wrote that the project had been “approved but delayed” because of “funding priorities and competing project priorities” in previous budget cycles.

The work will be done between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Pace said city officials have tried to encourage the contractor to do some or all of the work at night.

“There may be some periods of time that—for an hour or so—driveway entrances will be blocked,” he said. “It won’t be anything where anyone will be blocked out of their place of business for a day or anything like that.”

Pace said cooperation from motorists would help the project move along smoother.

“We want folks to slow down, be patient, be understanding of the workers out there in the 100-degree heat and just bear with us,” he said. “The more cooperation and help we get from the citizens, the easier it’ll be and the quicker we’ll be able to get done.”

Pace said he hopes to do some paving on Hunterdale Road and South Street next spring.

“We’ve got probably 20 or 30 roads that could certainly stand to be paved, but we just don’t have the money to do but a few,” he said, adding that the focus right now is on the roads “that get the bulk of the traffic.”