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City discusses solutions to deficiencies in Long Avenue Paving

What exactly caused the deficiencies in the repaving of Long Avenue is unknown, according to Port St. Joe City Engineer Josh Baxley.

At the city’s June 13 meeting, Baxley informed the commissioners that the freshly repaved road could have gone bumpy for a number of reasons — whether environmental or the result of mistakes made by construction crews.

But regardless, he said, after months of paving, about 442 linear feet of the road would need to be redone in order to eradicate some of the bumps causing concerns.

“It’s the area of the problem and then 50 feet on either side of that,” Baxley said. “So it’s 104, 120, 109 and 109 feet that would have to be repaved.”

“We don’t know exactly why it happened, but those stretches of road produce a bumpy ride.”

Baxley’s report included three recommended options for moving forward, which the city commissioners spent the better part of 15 minutes discussing.

The first involves allowing the construction company, North Florida Construction, to repair the deficiencies, resulting in what the engineer referred to as “cuts” in the road.

“It would be a cut, so it would not be as aesthetically pleasing,” said Baxley. “Basically we would have them mill it down again and then pave over the areas of concern.”

Commissioner Scott Hoffman voiced his support for the second option, which would involve applying the funding that would have gone towards the repairs to future city paving projects.

“My first instinct is if we are going to fix the problem, then I would ask what caused the problem in the first place, and since the answer is we don’t have any idea, it could happen again and again,” he said. “… I would be in favor of identifying other places where we need roads paved.”

The city also has the option of withholding the cost of the repairs to the road from any future payment requests made by the contractor.

These funds could then be used to hire another company to perform the repairs or be applied to other city expenditures.

The city commissioners voted to table the matter until their next meeting, which will be July 18. The city is currently withholding the final payment to the contractor.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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