MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The City of Memphis is now putting more money than ever into repairing the thousands of miles of lanes within city limits. And now for the first time, crews are getting to work faster thanks to new efforts by public works.
Historically it’s taken up to six months for crews to start on resurfacing projects after city councilors approved the budget.
The processes for picking streets to resurface across the City of Memphis is methodical and systematic, and now the process will be streamlined.
“We want to make sure that we are not delaying putting that money to work,” said Robert Knect, Public Works director for the City of Memphis.
In June, the city council approved the $19.5 million Public Works budget. Of that money, $13.5 million was earmarked to fix city streets. Councilors gave final approval for the spending Tuesday.
Projects will start as soon as Wednesday, just three days into the fiscal year -- earlier than ever before.
The first area to see improvements is near Hollywood and Chelsea. Preparations for that project were underway Tuesday ahead of the anticipated afternoon approval by city council.
“The goal is to do 350 lane miles this year. We are already 117 in, completed. So I think we are going to see you 350 lane miles with all of this activity and funding that’s going toward paving streets,” said Knect.
Already, contractors are lined up and ready to work on some of the city’s major streets this year.
“Because of the desire and the need really to provide the service faster and show that we can get the work done faster and use the money as quickly as possible we put processes in place to expedite all of that,” he said.