Upgrade to Ahoskie’s First Street begins Thursday

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, May 15, 2019

AHOSKIE – The Town of Ahoskie will commence its latest road improvement project on Thursday, May 16 with a street paving of First Street from Academy Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

“We estimate it will be closed for about 10 days to through traffic, but the effect on residents will be minimal,” said Ahoskie Town Manager Kerry McDuffie.

The green-light to begin the project was made during the past week, according to McDuffie. The street will first be milled to remove a portion of the old pavement to make the street more level, thus aiding in future storm drainage. Paving will be done by local Rose Brothers Paving Company as part of an existing North Carolina Department of Transportation contract.

“We’re grateful to DOT for overseeing this project with us,” McDuffie added.

Instead of using monies from the General Fund for the project, the Town Manager oversaw approval of a budget ordinance that transferred those funds from Powell Bill funds already designated for the town.

Powell Bill Funds are funds collected from North Carolina’s gasoline tax paid by consumers that the state provides to municipalities to maintain, repair, and construct city streets that were not part of the state highway system.

“We have $110,000 in Powell Bill Funds, and if we’re paving First Street anyway, it only makes sense that we use money that can only be used for paving streets and use that for First Street,” McDuffie said at the April 9 Ahoskie Town Council Meeting.

The original improvement plan called for milling and re-paving from McGlone to MLK, but the additional three blocks west to Academy were later added. However, those increased blocks will not be milled, but instead just re-paved.

“Some of the water lines on that street have been in place since the 1920’s, so they’re almost a century ago,” said McDuffie. “With the amount of weight from heavy pneumatic drilling that would be needed for milling, we were concerned about breaks in the line that might have called for more repairs.”