The Walker County Commission on Tuesday voted for low bids for liquid asphalt, bituminous surface treatment, and asphalt and stone concerning the state's Rebuild Alabama road and bridge program, going by procedures set out by the Legislature.
The program was set up in the wake of the state gas tax being increased for state products.
The act dictated the bids had to be advertised in a certain way on a state website, County Engineer Mike Short said, with vendors eligible only if they are listed on the state department of transportation's website as being eligible.
"Everything in this process is known and laid out by the Legislature for us to follow. We cannot vary from that path and be on the side of the law," Short said
He recommended multiple vendors on some bids because of the types of material and location of some materials, which may affect the availability, adding it was still legal under the bid laws. Bids awarded included Vulcan Materials and Ergon for liquid asphalt, Charles E. Watts for bituminous surface treatment, Dunn Construction and Good Hope Contracting for asphalt, and Vulcan Materials, Blount Springs Sand and Gravel, Wade Sand, and Gravel and Bunn Brothers for stone. (Bunn Brothers is also used many times for riprap.)
Another bid for gasoline and diesel from Pumpelly Oil Acquisition was also approved by the meeting, but it was not part of the Rebuild Alabama package, he said.
Short and District 4 Commissioner Steven Aderholt said an average mile of road costs between $90,000 and $120,000, depending on shoulder work or pipes that also (and usually) have to be done additionally. Aderholt said each district gets between $150,000 to $250,000 for road needs each year.
"At that rate, it would take 200 years to repave District 4," Aderholt said, noting the county district doesn't have the funds to pave large sections of roadways, despite the need.