Crawford Road paving set for late 2019
Paving on Crawford Road could start before the year’s end, taking 12 to 18 months to complete.
The road lies inside Norfolk Southern Railway’s property and has been discussed since 2016.
“The western 1.3 miles is an 80-foot county right-of-way,” according to Nassau County Transportation Engineer Robert T. Companion. “The eastern 5.2 miles is a 60-foot right-of-way.”
The county is in the process of negotiating an easement agreement with railroad officials.
“I can see the light of the end of the tunnel – and it’s not the train coming back in the other direction, which it was before,” County Attorney/County Manager Mike Mullin said during the Board of County Commissioners meeting Jan. 14.
Commissioner Aaron Bell asked if there was a timing issue with the grant, adding, “Are we going to be done in time or can we get an extension to spend the money now that it seems like we’re moving?”
A nearly $4.6 million Florida Department of Transportation Small Community Outreach Program grant will fund the project, but it comes with a Dec. 31 expiration deadline. County officials plan to request an FDOT extension.
“The grant was first approved a few years back, and due to the right-of-way and easement negotiations, a significant amount of time has passed,” Companion noted.
The total project cost is $8,473,264. The county will pay $3,890,267, which will derive from the one-cent gas tax and county transportation budget, according to Companion.
Other preparations are necessary before the project can move forward.
“The design plans are complete, but we still need to finalize the construction easement with Norfolk Southern, obtain the St. Johns River Water Management District and Army Corps of Engineers permits (currently underway) and work with Okefenoke Rural Electric to relocate some utility poles,” Companion wrote.
“This process is still approximately two to three months away from completion. Once those steps are complete, the bid process to secure a construction contractor and construction engineering inspection firm to oversee the project can begin. The bid process takes approximately four months from start to finish, if the process goes smoothly. Once a contractor is secured there is a roughly one month time frame for pre-construction meetings, utility meetings and mobilization before citizens will begin to see construction begin.”