Intent on infrastructure: Fixing Sumrall Road costs $280K

By CHARLIE SMITH,

Ask just about any driver in Columbia, and they’ll tell you one of the city’s worst streets is Sumrall Road beside Walmart.

The half-mile stretch between U.S. 98 and Broad Street is filled with ruts that frequently develop potholes.

Mayor Justin McKenzie often hears the complaints, but the problem is fixing that short stretch carries an estimated $280,000 price tag.

“The city simply doesn’t have the money,” McKenzie said Tuesday when he was asked about the road while speaking to the Rotary Club.

The street is improved some after city crews recently patched parts of it. The mayor said they had switched to pea gravel in the paving machine because of dust concerns, but the pea gravel wasn’t stable enough. They have switched back to limestone, which is what was used for the recent patches.

The city repaired the road several years ago using what McKenzie called a “microseal.” The thin layer has worked many times elsewhere, the mayor said, but didn’t here for reasons that aren’t clearcut.

A permanent fix would require milling down the asphalt and repaving. McKenzie said the city might leave the center lane, which is in better shape, and just fix the two driving lanes to save money.

He said he hopes that if the legislature comes up with additional road and bridge funding that the city will get a slice.

“If we do, that road will be one of our top priorities,” McKenzie said.

 

Pictured Above: A car drives over a patched spot on Sumrall Road near Walmart Tuesday. | Photo by Charlie Smith