The new asphalt lay baking under the summer sun on Tuesday in Marshall as the city’s $1.2 million 2019 Street Improvement Project got underway.

Contractors hired by the city of Marshall officially began laying groundwork for the 2019 Street Improvement Program in late June but actually started pouring new asphalt this week.

The street improvement program, which is set to be complete sometime in late September or early October, depending on weather, began by laying asphalt on Speed Street in Marshall on Tuesday.

The past couple of weeks, crews began by milling Buffo Road to North Grove before moving over to Holmes Road and Enola Mae Drive.

Milling is the removal of the existing asphalt pavement, a process that corrects and restores the original grade and smooths the surface for new asphalt resurfacing.

“We are starting our street improvement program much earlier this year in an effort to get roads resurfaced in a time frame that works better for everyone,” City of Marshall Assistant Director of Public Services Chris Miles said in June. “We hope to complete overlays on over 20 streets and improve the condition of these roadways.”

The $1.2 million for street improvements was approved by the Marshall City Commission in March and is set to see about 70,000-square yards of streets repaired or fixed this year.

Last year’s street improvement program saw about 68,000-square yards of Marshall streets repaired or fixed, Miles said.

The 2019 plans also include four alternate streets in last year’s plan that the city did not get to in 2018. The four alternate streets not worked on in 2018’s plan are Bolivar Street, Mary Mack Drive, Parker Street and Norwood Street.

Hayes Engineering was once again awarded the 120-day contract at about $93,000 for its engineering services.

The 2019 Street Improvement Program includes a list of streets to be repaired, with a grade given to each street based on its condition.

The worst-rated streets in the chart presented to commissioners in March were Herndon Street and Speed Street, earning a rate of between a 4 and 5 — where five is the worst condition and one is the best condition.

Of the streets on the 2019 list, about a dozen of them were rated a 4, Miles said.

The Harrison County Commissioners Court also approved a $893,495 summer road construction plan in April that calls for the repair of about 19 miles of roadway.

Of the 19.327 miles planned for repair this summer, 17.827 of it will be reconstructed and 1.5 miles will be special projects.

For more information on the 2019 Street Improvement Program, visit bit.ly/2Nb8VAE or call the city of Marshall at 903-935-4516.