The Town of Smithfield will be making improvements to North and South Equity Drive this summer. The town council awarded a bid Aug. 4th to resurface the busy roadway off Outlet Center Drive as well as make safety improvements. Curb and gutter and sidewalks will also be added along a section of Equity Drive.
The council had budgeted $1 million for the project. Five companies submitted bids. JSmith Civil LLC submitted the lowest bid of $786,381.
Smithfield Town Manager Michael Scott said, “The biggest complaint we’ve received from business owners along Equity Drive is pothole repair related. Although we routinely repair the potholes the ride quality of the roadway has deteriorated through the past 20 plus years. During our site survey of Equity Drive, many pedestrians were witnessed walking from hotels and businesses along the shoulders of the roadway. This is something we felt needed to be addressed with the existing road repair. The sidewalk continuation on the inner perimeter will allow pedestrians to maneuver safer throughout the area.”
The contractor will be required to keep at least one lane of Equity Drive open at all times, however, businesses owners along Equity Drive should expect minor delays.
Councilman Travis Scott said he wanted to make sure a parking plan was in place to prevent 18 wheelers from continuing to use Equity Drive as a long term parking zone. Town Manager Scott said, “Staff will be asking the Council to prohibit parking on this roadway, as much of the shoulder damage has been caused by heavy semi-trucks parking on the sides of the street.”
“The Council has worked to be conservative in its spending so we can complete these types of large scale projects annually, without further acquiring more debt. We thank our business partners in that area for being patient so this project can be not only repaired, but improved for pedestrian traffic and storm water runoff,” the town manager said.