Former Carbon Hill Mayor Chris Hart sent District 2 Commissioner Dan Wright a letter in February 2012 requesting the county’s help on the project. Hart asked for assistance with paving Nauvoo Road and constructing turn lanes at the school intersection.
After site preparations began later in 2012, Wright said then-county engineer David Edgil urged him to stop work because of a number of telephone poles located close to the roadway.
Wright said he has had several conversations about the turn lanes with current Mayor James “Pee Wee” Richardson since he took office in November 2012.
“I told him that we couldn’t do anything else because of the poles,” Wright said.
The poles are approximately 10 feet from the edge of the road, and the proposed turning lane is expected to be between 10 and 12 feet wide.
At least six poles will have to be relocated before the project can proceed.
Wright said after work stopped two years ago, he expected city officials to make the request that the poles be moved because the project is being conducted within the city limits.
“This is the city of Carbon Hill’s project. It’s not county property. We were just asked to do the work,” Wright said.
Mickey Harbin, executive director of Alabama External Affairs for AT&T, said the company will need permission from the city of Carbon Hill to move the poles.
There is a possibility that some of the poles will be relocated beyond the right of way onto private property, which would require the permission of those owners as well.
Harbin said AT&T will also need a formal plan that includes detailed engineering drawings.
Wright said those specifications will need to be submitted by the city. He said the county is prepared to provide labor and equipment only.
“I would pave the section from where it turns into a three lane to where it goes back into a two lane at the county’s expense. I would pave it, stripe it and put reflectors up with arrows, but it would have to be in accordance with the city’s plan,” Wright said.
After meeting with Wright and AT&T officials Thursday, Richardson said he intends to find a way for the city to develop the necessary plans that would move the project forward.
“I don’t see why not because it’s going to help the kids. My main goal is to make it safe, and that turn lane will help 100 percent. We’re going to do our best to get this fixed for them,” Richardson said.