The Jackson County Commission approved a road resurfacing agreement for County Road 61 at its work session Monday evening. County Road 61 runs between Pisgah High School and Sam Kenimer Stadium.

The project will cost $637,000, and it is 80% funded by federal funds. The county’s portion of the project will cost $127,000.

Last February, County Engineer Jonathan Campbell presented three roads to the commission that had been paved close to 20 years ago, and the commission chose County Road 61 because it would make the road that runs by Pisgah High School safer.

Commission Chairman Tim Guffey said the fact that the road was so close to a school was a big reason it was chosen.

“This project has been a long time coming,” said Guffey. “It’s something we’ve been wanting to do; we just couldn’t get the funding. It’s always good when we can make a road that students travel everyday safer.”

County Road 61 was chosen based on the condition of the road, the length of time since last paved, the cost based on the amount of federal funds available to use, the traffic count and the impact to the public.  Jackson County Public Works had been working with the school board for some time concerning solutions for improved safety on County Road 61 through Pisgah School’s campus.  As part of this project, public works intends to add additional safety measures within the school zone.

County Road 61 met several qualifications before being presented to the commission. Jackson County Public Works can only use federal funds on roads that the state has classified as Major or Minor Collectors based on traffic, location, and other factors. These roads make up a small percentage of the county’s total road system.

Public works presented the commission three roads that had been paved close to 20 years ago with federal funds based on their condition, length of time since last paved, traffic count, cost, and impact to the public.

Public works also presented a pavement preservation project as a choice for a road that had been paved close to 10 years ago.  Pavement preservation extends the life of a road that is still in decent condition at a much lower cost compared to resurfacing.

The road has areas of rutting, cracking, and it has potholes. The road will be patched, leveled, striped and the school zone will be upgraded. The road will not be closed to traffic during construction.

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