KINGSPORT, TN – One of the biggest issues people who live in Kingsport face is now being addressed.
The city is implementing a new sustainable paving plan aimed at keeping roads more drivable.
“We started slipping down a slope, where the funding compared to what the need was, was showing that if we stayed in that type of model we were going to be paving roads once every 60 years, which just is not good for the citizens. It’s not sustainable,” said Kingsport Assistant City Manager for Operations, Ryan McReynolds.
What is sustainable, and what McReynolds said the board made a priority, is paving neighborhood roads in a 20 to 25 year cycle.
“In the next five years we will be there, so this next year is the largest investment that they have ever made in local paving,” he said.
From that point forward, McReynolds said he hopes to reach $2.1 million spent on paving each year. He also said he does not see a stop date, thanks to what he called a dedicated funding source through customer fees with Appalachian Electric Power (AEP).
“It was a franchise agreement with a fee attached to it with AEP. It’s a private company that does business inside the city of Kingsport,” he said.
In the next few weeks, McReynolds said the city is doing a data assessment of all city streets to find out which need the most attention.
“We’re going to wait for this assessment to kind of get for jumping out next spring and summer an objective list of those areas we need to target,” said McReynolds.
“As much as I’ve traveled over the years across the country, I’ve dealt with a lot of areas where there are a lot of potholes. They obviously cause wrecks and vehicle damage so if we can have sustainability here every 25 years I think that’s a fabulous thing,” said Jim Salyers, who grew up in Kingsport.
McReynolds said he is excited to provide new and sustainable roads. He also said the city has both concrete and asphalt streets, and this project is focusing on repaving the asphalt ones.