Editorial: Kingsport’s paving plan is appreciated

Editorial Board • May 21, 2020 at 10:45 PM

It is reassuring and gratifying that the city of Kingsport’s street repaving project will resume this summer.

With a budget plan to sustain operations through the next fiscal year to accommodate the impact of the pandemic, the city has opted to continue with street repairs. After July 1 when the new fiscal year begins, the asphalt trucks will be rolling again to resurface broken pavement.

With all the uncertainties ahead, Kingsport could have opted to hold much of that work in abeyance. But the city recognizes that it’s important to keep promises to work on the streets every year, a major plank in Pat Shull’s successful platform for the mayor’s seat.

It also reassures residents that the city is back in business and moving forward. It will be greatly appreciated by those who live on streets that are in very poor shape and who did not look forward to another winter of driving on them.

Under its sustainable paving program, Kingsport allocated just over $2.4 million during the current fiscal year for street work, which began last fall and was to continue this spring. But that didn’t happen. When the pandemic hit, most everything was put on hold and will remain that way as this fiscal year concludes June 30.

But Deputy City Manager Ryan McReynolds said the city plans to perform more than $4 million in paving after July 1 with $2.5 million to be contracted out to resurface a number of main roads throughout the city including portions of Cooks Valley Road, Netherland Inn Road, Moreland Drive, Fall Creek Road from the bridge to the city limits, and Meadowview Parkway from Wilcox Drive to Interstate 26.

Meanwhile city crews will be working on the original neighborhood repaving plan to begin in the West View Park neighborhood as well as resurfacing 20 “worst case” roads such as Avalon Street, Spring Street, Dunbar Street, Blakemore Drive, Bellwood Place, Green Spring Circle, Stuart Drive and Lexington Lane.

“In the midst of a pandemic and with these revenue concerns, we’ve been able to figure out a way to make it work,” said McReynolds,

Indeed, and it will be well appreciated.

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