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Hwy. 371 partly blocked for road construction

By Staff, 04/8/21 1:01 PM

PRESCOTT – Crews are working on the road project at TA Travel Center, with one lane of Hwy. 371 blocked while work is being done.

Work began on the project in January, but was slowed due to inclement weather, especially the snowstorm in February.

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.