Thomson and McDuffie County will piggyback off a state-funded road project scheduled for next month to get more out of their paving dollars.
Georgia's Local Assistance Road Program will pay for the paving of all or part of seven roads. According to McDuffie County Road Department Director Chris Pelly, the contractor agreed to pave more than a dozen additional roads at the same cost.
"We get a better price if we get it while they're in town with the LARP work," Mr. Pelly said.
The LARP money will go toward paving on Adams Street in Dearing; Dogwood Drive, Poplar Street and Sycamore Street in Thomson; Dearing Acres Road, Moose Club Road and Salem Road in the unincorporated area of the county.
In all, 3.56 miles will be paved by the state. Mr. Pelly said Reeves Construction will begin the paving work in about three weeks.
McDuffie County will foot the bill for an additional 1.6 miles of paving on Margarets Road and more than five miles on Fort Creek Road. Thomson plans on paving an additional mile spread out over about a dozen roads.
"There's quite a bit of work that's going to be done, and it's certainly going to help things," Mr. Pelly said. "...Those roads, we're constantly going in there and trying to patch them, trying to hold them together. So once I get this overlay done on them, I won't have to mess with them for, hopefully, 15 to 20 years."
Some of the residents on Margarets Road think the paving is not a moment too soon. Joseph Greene said with all the truck traffic traveling by his home, the road is in bad shape. He said enforcing the weight limit would help alleviate the problem in the future.
"This road is heavily traveled. You've got a lot of people taking a shortcut from Advance Auto. They do that to get over to 278. So there's a lot of traffic on this road," Dr. Greene said. "...There are some spots where there are a lot of pot holes, and you have to be very careful."
Mr. Pelly said much preparation work for the paving has already been completed. His crews began replaced drain pipes three months ago so that the new pavement wouldn't have to be cut and patched in years to come.
New LARP requests for next year's paving will be due to the state around November. Local officials prioritize the list, but the Georgia Department of Transportation has the final say on which roads they will have paved.