The Mayor of Jasper, John Weaver, convened an informal meeting last week in order to review roads that are in need of repair and determine a strategy to prioritize and approach road projects.
Sam Wheeler, an area citizen and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) employee, offered informal advice to the council during the meeting. Wheeler was encouraged to attend by the mayor in order provide the group with transportation infrastructure expertise.
The city has 40 miles of road within its jurisdiction (excluding the state highway). In past years, civic budgets have not made road repair feasible.
With the recent passage of a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), the city’s roads (some extensively damaged by ‘wear and tear’ )can now be addressed.
Wheeler advised the council to approach the repair process from a geographical center point (finishing outward as one would do when mopping a floor) so as to avoid “damaging other roads as you go.” He told the council “Every neighborhood needs some repair.”
The mayor agreed and told audience members that part of his vision is to include ‘roundabouts’ (circular junctions of several roads)so as to disperse traveler- thereby preventing congestion.
The mayor cited several Georgia cities that the city might use as an example of well planned traffic patterns(such as Vidalia, Georgia) and made note of the fact that other valuable infrastructure work(such as curbs and gutters) would likely have to occur so as to preserve road surfaces.
When asked whether city employees would be utilized in order to do some or all of the work, the mayor said that, given the seasonal windows allowed to address much needed road repair, that would be unlikely. He also noted that utilizing regular employees would take them away from other city operations.