A new subdivision that will be built has caused Searcy officials to start planning to improve two city streets, including one that has been under consideration for a decade.
The Searcy City Council is expected to pick back up discussion Tuesday night on contracts with Pickering Engineering for a Fuller Lane improvement project and Davidson Engineering for a South Sawmill Road improvement project. The projects were addressed at Thursday’s agenda meeting.
Referring to the South Sawmill Road project, City Engineer Mark Lane said Friday that “we’ve been looking at the project for 10 years probably. The reason we kind of bumped it up, there is going to be new subdivision built. If you go to the south end of Sawmill where you turn the corner and then you are on Country Club East, if you can stay on Sawmill and go straight, it will be back over in there and then back a little bit to your left.”
Lane said the new subdivision will be between the Sawmill/East Country Club Road corner and Fuller Lane.
“There is going to be like 120 lots in that subdivision and it will increase the traffic substantially on Sawmill, probably,” Lane said. “There is already flooding problems along Sawmill. We looked at just addressing that really; now we are going to try to improve the road, widen it and hopefully add a sidewalk – hopefully two sidewalks but at least one.
Right now, the Searcy City Council is just talking about the engineering of the project, according to Lane. “It doesn’t mean we are going to build it right now and it doesn’t mean we are going to build it at all necessarily unless we can do something to get the money to do it because we have a finite amount of dollars left in our eight-year plan. If the city someday passes another tax that we can fund the construction of this project, I would say that it would be really soon, but the reason we are doing it is so we will be ready when that day comes.”
Asked about the cost for this project, Lane said he really hasn’t put a number to it but it should be similar to the Country Club Road project, which was about $2 million. He said construction costs have gone up so it will probably be a little more than that. “That doesn’t include any right of way acquisition, anything like that, our utility relocation if we have to, probably we will,” which would up the price to about $2.5 million. “There is going to be substantially more drainage in this project, so I would say to add probably another half-a million for drainage.”
The Fuller Lane project is the eastern side of the new subdivision.
“Fuller Lane is a one-way in-and-out road basically – actually you can get to another subdivision by turning. We already have Southwind on that road,” Lane said. “Again, this new subdivision will only increase traffic. Fuller is a very narrow road right now. It has ditches on both sides. We would be improving it and adding a sidewalk there as well.”
As far as numbers on the project, Lane said it is not as long of a project as Sawmill so it probably will cost “somewhere more than a million and probably less than $2 million.”
He said when the subdivision is built, “there may be 500 or 600 trips a day into that subdivision alone, not counting all the new cut-through traffic that will be going through.”