SEBASTIAN – Drivers traveling along Laconia Street should begin to see the bumps in the road smoothed out by the end of March.
“I feel like we’ve turned a corner,” City Manager Al Minner told the Sebastian City Council Wednesday evening.
He and other city staff have worked out a tentative agreement with the two contractors who performed the Laconia Street repaving that they would be responsible for paying for the estimated $56,000 in repairs to the road.
For the last couple months, the contractors – APAC-Southeast and Asphalt Recycling – have been at odds with each other and the city, each pointing pointing fingers at the other over the botched work, according to Minner.
There are several spots on Laconia where the base rock materials were still exposed, though asphalt should have been laid over it.
The companies offered two possible solutions – re-lay another coat of asphalt over the road as is, or redo those portions of bad road, which would require removing those segments of road down to the base and essentially starting over.
Minner told the council that the firms and he agree the second option would be best as it would provide for a stable and structurally sound road.
The drawback, however, would be that for the short-term, drivers and residents would see a difference in color between the segments of road and seams where the newest asphalt meets the older asphalt.
“In five of six months, we won’t have a road that looks like a checkerboard,” Minner said.
If the aesthetic of the road were a priority, he told the council, the city could decide to spend between $80,000 and $100,000 to repave the top of the road over the fixes.
Doing so would give residents and drivers a “nice, sexy street,” Minner said – one they had expected to have when told the road was going to be redone.
Vice Mayor Don Wright told Minner and his fellow council members that if the city has $80,000 to $100,000 to spend on laying new asphalt on Laconia, then the city should spend that money on paving the Presidential streets within the Community Redevelopment Area.
Councilman Eugene Wolff expressed similar thoughts, noting that they could have the most beautiful street but then a paint truck loses its cargo spilling paint everywhere.
He said having a structurally sound road is his priority.