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Construction to start Monday on TA road project

By Staff, 01/8/21 11:20 AM

PRESCOTT – Area residents need to be aware construction will be starting at the TA truck stop Monday, Jan. 11.

The drive used by truckers is being replaced because of the condition it’s in. Traffic flow will be affected by the construction. Kiron Browning, with AL Franks Engineering of Texarkana, the project engineer, said trucks going in to the business are asked to use the second driveway, while local traffic is urged to use the first driveway at TA. Browning added one side of NC30 will be done at a time to allow trucks to exit as they normally do from the county road onto Hwy. 371.

Overall, he continued, the project will take about 75 days, depending on the weather.

Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, said people need to use extreme caution when going to TA. She added, this is entirely a city-funded project, with no grant money involved. The total cost will be $287,400 and redo the first 125 feet of road. The city, she said, has been saving for three years to fund this project and once it’s done, will begin saving to pave the second segment of the road.

Four businesses in the area will be impacted by the project, TA, the truck wash, tire center and wrecker service.

Browning said the problem with the existing road is there’s insufficient drainage on the west side and water is trapped under the surface of the road. “It’s a harsh environment for roads as 700 to 1,000 trucks a day are on it.”

The worst section, he said, is from Hwy. 371 125 feet north on NC30 where the concrete panels have literally separated from the heavy use. Another problem, found after a geotechnical survey was done, is in places there’s only nine to 11 inches of concrete on the current road, which is on top of clay gravel and sand. The replacement road will be based on 1,000 trucks a day going over it and will be built on eight inches of stabilized subgrade with 13-inches of reinforced concrete on top.

Because there’s no ditches for the water to flow into, trucks use the side of the road to park on. This will come to an end as the project calls for a ditch to be dug on the west side of the road. Truckers will have to go to a parking lot to park their semis. The ditch will also provide drainage to help extend the life of the new road.

Construction will be done by Tatum Excavating of Texarkana. Browning said AL Franks has worked with this company in the past on similar projects and they’ve done a good job. TEC will be bringing in equipment Monday and setting up the traffic flow.

Additionally, the project will include French drains on both sides of the road to keep the water out from under it. A French drain will also be added near Hwy. 371 to take water to the ditches. As it stands now, Browning said, there’s always water out there.

Godwin said TA is a big employer in Prescott and provides for a lot of sales tax money, along with providing important services for the community. She added officers with the Prescott Police Department will be regularly patrolling the area to make sure there are no problems.

Browning said the city reduced the speed limit on the road, dropping it from 30 mph to 15 mph, which will help as some trucks get up to 30 mph and slam on their brakes as they approach the stop sign at 371, which puts additional stress on the road. “We spent a lot of time watching traffic and thinking through the process.”

Perry Nelson, superintendent of Prescott Water and Sewer, was part of the committee, along with Godwin and Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver. Nelson will be the city’s liaison for the project because of his knowledge of the road’s history and the utilities in the area.

“We want to do what we can to keep TA in Prescott,” Oliver said, “and not go elsewhere. TA is huge for the city.” He added Prescott is also the midpoint between Dallas and Memphis along with being located on Interstate 30, which makes it an ideal location for truck stops and truckers. “We talked to the TA management about this project. I appreciate the council’s approving the funds for it as it shows they have the vision to see the importance of the trucking industry to Prescott and Nevada County.”