construction

The City of Hendersonville is set to begin rehabbing the west side of Hidden Point Road this fall through a process called scrubbing.

Scrubbing involves filling in the top layer of asphalt on the road and sealing it so that it later can be paved.

The problem with paving the road is that it is impossible to pave over Hidden Point Road as it is right now, said Marshall Boyd, director of public works.

“It's in such bad shape, we can't remove what's there or it will cause more damage,” Boyd said.

Scrubbing prevents that by leaving everything there and sealing it so that the City can later come back and put a layer of asphalt on top of that.

The process will seal the road for 5-7 years and will cost around $40,000, although the final estimate has not come in yet.

The City will look at sealing the east side of Hidden Point road next year, said Boyd.

Both Boyd and Ward 1 Alderman Mark Skidmore, head of the public works committee, said that Hidden Point Road was one of the worst roads in the city when considering the speed of deterioration.

Skidmore was very optimistic about the process, saying that it will save “millions of dollars” in the long run. He said he thinks the process could be the answer to a lot of the City’s paving problems.

“Any way I can reduce costs to make a road drivable, I'm gonna do it,” he said.

Hidden Point is in Ward 4. Ward 4 Alderman Andy Bolt pushed for the road to get treated.

Bolt said that the HOA of Hidden Point had sent a petition to the mayor about their road problems. Bolt then went to the neighborhood to see the problems for himself and has pushed for something to be done for the past few months.

“Things have deteriorated much quicker than what they normally would have, and we couldn’t wait,” he said.

Bolt said he believes that the scrubbing process will solve the problem for the time being until the City can deal with a more thorough plan.

Paving Tension

Paving has been a contentious issue for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The City spent over $200,000 on a study in 2016 which evaluated all the roads in Hendersonville and looked at their paving condition. The aldermen have questioned whether there are roads worse than Hidden Point that should be addressed first.

Boyd said that the paving study is only part of what staff looks at when determining which roads to pave. The staff also has to look at the budget and which roads are deteriorating more quickly, like Hidden Point, when making their paving project list.

The study is not really a ranked list but a breakdown of the roads by category with 100-86 being Good, 71-85 being Satisfactory, and so on.

In 2016 when the data was collected, the average road condition was 75.59, placing the City in the Satisfactory category.

The study also looked at how the City could best maintain the roads by comparing several different road maintenance budgets.

In 2016, Hendersonville was budgeting around $1 million a year for road maintenance. The study concluded that without increasing the budget, the City’s road rating would fall to a 70 in five years and continue decreasing.

The study said that if the City increased the paving budget to $2.6 million, the road condition would only decrease to a 75, a manageable score to maintain or improve.

Finally, the study looks at a $3.1 million budget, which at the end of five years would increase the road rating to 77.5.

The paving budget for the 20-21 Fiscal Year is around $1.5 million with a potential for some aid money from the state, said Skidmore.

Skidmore was adamant about the condition of Hendersonville roads and how much money was needed to pave them.

“You're gonna have to give me $4 or 5 million to pave roads, or raise taxes and use the money that is raised off those taxes to pave roads,” he said.

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