Commission getting funds for three roads

By ED HOWELL
Posted 11/8/18

The Walker County Commission on Monday approved road projects for Fall City Road, Empire Road and Nauvoo Road using some money saved up and some federal money. Engineer Mike Short said the …

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Commission getting funds for three roads

Posted

The Walker County Commission on Monday approved road projects for Fall City Road, Empire Road and Nauvoo Road using some money saved up and some federal money. 

Engineer Mike Short said the Alabama Department of Transportation required a resolution as federal funds were to be used with the projects, noting the projects would be spread out in all the districts except District 3. That district also had the "Parrish-to-Oakman" road done earlier in a similar manner, and the other districts are now getting the same type of funding under the program involved. 

Plans are to be submitted to Montgomery, Short said. 

"We'll be able to spend our federal money allotment that the state holds for us," he said. "We'll will have to provide a 20 percent match in that." 

Short said the right-of-ways will be cleared, as roads that are federally funded like that must have 80-foot right-of-way, meaning fences have to be moved and mailboxes have to be reconstructed to be break-away structures. "The state comes and inspects it," he said. "They draw a line in the sand on this. Just know with all of these projects, that is going to take place." 

District 1 Commissioner Keith Davis said  Fall City Road in his district is heavily traveled, leading to Clear Creek Recreational Park, which he said is heavily visited. "It is an asset to the county," he said. 

The project will run from Alabama 195 near Jasper to the Walker-Winston County Line. 

He said officials want to keep it as an asphalt road, as it is to the point of needing resurfacing. 

"Winter has been hard on our asphalt roads throughout the county, especially in my district these past few winters," he said. "This road we have patched and kept together." 

The funds have been "sitting in Road and Bridge for this project. We've had to pinch pennies, scrape and save to have this money available," Davis said, saying he hoped for paving in the spring.

Fall City Road, also known as County Road 27, is about 7 miles and to pave entirely with district funds would tie up those funds only for this project for three years, officials said. 

The road comes to the county line with Winston County before coming into the park, and Davis said he and Short reached out unsuccessfully to Winston County about joining in on the project. 

"Based off their funding, I'm not sure they can," he said, which is why the paving will stop at the county line. I'll make that statement. We'll finally get to ride on this nice, smooth black asphalt road and you have to go into Winston County a little bit before you go into - it's not that we stopped."

Short said Winston County might be able to find funding for that section.  

On Empire Road, Short said the road is so long that it has to be broken up into two separate projects due to the cost. "This time I thing we are going from the three-way stop to the county line," he said. The resolution indicates paving will stretch from north of Hill Road to the Walker-Blount County Line. 

District 4 Commissioner Steven Aderholt said these roads can be used in the funding as they are major collectors. "We couldn't put this money to any other road in District 4," he said. 

Short said, "This is another way our hands are tied somewhat. The major collector system are the only roadways to be eligible for this money to be spent on." 

As for Nauvoo Road in District 2, Short said the project would start at Highway 118 and "go beside the high school on north of the corridor (U.S. Interstate 22) to a breaking point at the Nauvoo-Galloway Road." 

District 2 Commissioner Jeff Burrough said discussions on the Nauvoo Road project have been ongoing for two years and he was proud to see the work. He said it will tie in the Carbon Hill schools with Highway 118 and Mill Creek Bridge and I-22, along with the businesses at that exit.

"It's been awful for years," he said, especially on dark, rainy nights.

Short said once these projects are completed, officials will look at completing the remaining sections as soon as possible. 

"Don't think, 'Well, they're picking on me. They're not doing my half of the road.' In my opinion, we're doing the one that is the highest traveled and in the worst shape," he said. "We're not ignoring the part that is not being picked. We just have to limit the amount of money to be able to afford it." 

Chairman Jerry Bishop said he was glad commissioners had been able to get federal and state money to help. "I know you have been saving a little money to try to do those roads," he told the commissioners. "I'm proud of all four of you."