AUGUSTA — Short, torn-up Bond Street is due for nearly $190,000 in repairs and improvements once the dust settles on a major construction project putting utility pipes underneath the street.

City Councilors voted unanimously Thursday to approve a proposal to go beyond a basic patch job to the surface of the street by reconstructing the street, adding granite-curbed sidewalks on both sides, and possibly adding “traffic-calming” amenities, including traffic islands with new lights and plants.

Bond Street, and sections of other streets in that part of the city, have been ripped apart by construction crews putting in new underground pipes for a massive Greater Augusta Utilities District project for the last several months.

The utilities district, which had construction crews rip up the street as part of its combined sewer overflow project, is financially responsible for returning the street to the condition it was in before they started the work, according to City Manager William Bridgeo.

The condition of the road was relatively poor before the utilities district even started, however, with multiple older patches of rough pavement, and potholes.

So rather than have the pavement patched with utilities district money and returned to its previous condition, city councilors voted to combine the utilities district money that would be spent returning the road to its previous condition with city money to rebuild and make improvements to Bond Street. Bridgeo said the utilities district would provide $71,000 worth of work, the estimated cost of returning Bond Street to its previous condition, for the project.

So rather than have the pavement patched with utilities district money and returned to its previous condition, city councilors voted to combine the utilities district money that would be spent returning the road to its previous condition with city money to rebuild and make improvements to Bond Street. Bridgeo said the utilities district would provide $71,000 worth of work, the estimated cost of returning Bond Street to its previous condition, for the project.

The city will provide up to $119,000 for the improvements.

Bridgeo said the sidewalks and a base coat of pavement could be put in this construction season, with a final coat of pavement and other work coming in the spring.

The improvements may or may not include additions meant to both improve the appearance of the area and slow traffic using Bond Street, such as three islands with vintage-looking new lighting in the center of the street.

Bridgeo told councilors, some of whom had expressed concerns about those amenities, they could decide whether to add those at a later date, but Thursday’s vote would allow planning of the project to continue for now, in time for some work to take place this construction season.

“By approving this money, you’re allowing us to proceed,” Bridgeo said. “We can come back at a later date to discuss amenities, including whether there should be islands, and where they would be.”

The city’s share of the money would come from the city’s downtown tax increment financing account, which is made up of money collected in property taxes paid on new development in the district, not from the city’s general fund, Bridgeo said.

The street is short, roughly 70 yards long, but it’s part of a gateway to the city, linking Mount Vernon Avenue and Water Street.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

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