HIGH SPRINGS – Some city residents of High Springs may find it easier to get in and out of their neighborhoods if plans are approved to spend up to $445,000 in gas-tax income on road improvements.

Commissioners are expected to approve the roads under consideration as part of their Thursday, Jan. 16, meeting.

City Manager Ed Booth recently met with Alachua County Public Works representatives to review the roads and solidify a collaborative effort between the city and county to complete the road improvements.

“The city will be preparing the roads, cutting limbs and doing whatever is necessary to make it easy for the county to come in and actually complete the road improvements,” Booth said. “These roads include some of the most traveled dirt roads that serve city residents.”

Although most of the roads set aside for improvement are dirt, one is asphalt. A one-block section of Northwest First Street, in front of The Priest Theater, will receive a 1-inch overlay of asphalt over the existing asphalt, Booth said.

The city will also do the preparation work on the dirt roads and the county will come in and “chip and seal” those roads, he said.

He describes “chip and seal” as a rock and oil emulsion that the county uses on many of their roads. It has the same characteristics as asphalt, but it is porous, so it eliminates the requirement and cost of engineering and drainage.

“It is used on dirt roads that have never been paved,” Booth said.

Booth identified Northwest 158th Street and Northwest 160th Street, near the sewer plant, as one location that serves a number of homes on those two streets.

Another area under consideration is Northwest 214th Terrace, which turns into Northwest 154th Place, and then turns into Northwest 222nd Street. It is identified as a two-mile stretch that runs along Tillman Estates. Another area is described as a big “U.” It runs from Northwest 196th Street to Northwest 215th Street, and turns into Northwest 200th Avenue, finally turning into Northwest 296th Street.

“This will take care of most of the high-volume dirt roads and keeps the city from having to grade those roads every time it rains at a cost of $150 per grading,” Booth said.

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