By Jason C. Mattox
The City of Batesville is continuing its paving initiative during the summer months as is evidenced by the recent resurfacing of Broadway and Boothe Street.
City officials authorized paving that began during the summer of 2006 and have completed $1.2 million in resurfacing projects during subsequent summers.
“We wanted to get Broadway and Booth Street done now before Memphis Stone and Gravel got too busy,” Autrey said. “We are planning a second round of paving in July.”
Streets slated for a fresh coat of asphalt in July include Park Street, Gay Street and Georgia Street.
Additional streets will be paved thanks in part to the city’s ongoing sewer improvement project and to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
Martinez Street, Wood Street and a section of Central Street will be in need of some repairs once the sewer improvements are completed.
MDOT is resurfacing Highway 35 from the North Batesville interstate exit to the intersection of Broadway and James and from the Lafayette County line to Batesville Civic Center on Highway 6 east of Batesville.
In addition to paving, traffic lights in the city will also be get a facelift thanks to funding from MDOT.
“All five of the stop lights in the city limits will be going to an arm style pole rather than the wires,” Autrey said. “They may not all get done at one time, but this is going to greatly improve our corridor along Highway 6.”
The mayor also mentioned forthcoming installation of high mast lighting at the North Batesville exit and the beautification efforts of the median on Highway 6 East.
“At this point, it looks like the crepe myrtles will be put in during the fall,” he said. “It is really too hot to put them in right now, and we want to give them the best possible chance to survive.”
Autrey said he did not regret the early removal of the decades old Bradford Pear trees that had been along Highway 6.
“A lot of those trees were old and dead, and we needed to do something to improve the look of the city,” he said. “We are at the mercy of MDOT to when they install the lights, and we would rather start early than late.”