Fall City Road, Nauvoo Road set for bidding


County Engineer Mike Short says road work on Fall City Road is scheduled for the April 3 bid letting at the Alabama Department of Transportation, while the Carbon Hill-Nauvoo Road is slated for the June 26 letting. 

Short updated the Walker County Commission last week on a number of road projects. 

Both roads are part of the road projects listed in the county's transportation plan for this fiscal year, as submitted to the state under the Rebuild Alabama program. They will both be paid for with $400,000 allocated to the county as Federal Aid Exchange Funds that can be used as a match for federal funds, where the county gets less funds but also with less restrictions on how to use them. 

The Nauvoo Road project is getting $136,800 as part of a project totaling just under $1.1 million. Fall City Road has a $1.3 million project slated that will involve $264,200. Short has noted $2.5 million of federal funds collected in an account in Montgomery to address Fall City Road and the southern portion of the Carbon Hill to Nauvoo Road. 

Nauvoo Road in District 2 will go from Ninth Avenue in Carbon Hill to the intersection with Keeton Farm Road, running for 5.4 miles. Fall City Road (also known as County Road 27) in District 1 will run for 5.67 miles from Alabama Highway 195 to the Winston County Line. 

Short also addressed other road and bridge projects needing attention. 

"I rode with Charlie Watts, the contractor who has our bid for bituminous treatment, and we looked at the Old 78 Highway between Industrial Boulevard and the three-way stop at Gardner's Gin, and also Gardner's Gin Road from the three-way stop to the railroad track in the City of Cordova," Short said. "Then we reviewed the Cordova Gorgas Road to see what we may can do to provide some better surfaces or patching of some of the more severe areas. He is going to get back with me this week with some of his recommendations, I'll have something for you maybe at the next meeting."

Short said he also had instructions from District 4 Commissioner Steven Aderholt on patching and overlay on Bryan Road and he expects to get that underway shortly. 

The county is waiting for the Rebuild Alabama monies to build up, with the first quarterly payment in. However, that was not enough to complete any of the projects. "But I think we have some ways to work around that," he added. 

Also, he discussed Browns Bridge, where he said bridge replacement work threatens a water line on the bridge that would affect up to 75 percent of Providence Water Authority customers.

Short said a contractor should start work the next day to deal with "debris on the upstream side, just to give the water line that is on the bridge just a little bit of relief and hopefully prevent that from coming loose, becoming disjointed, because it's got a slip (joint) going on it right now." 

Jerry Bishop, chairman of the commission, noted that when the bridge work is done the line can be put back in place and the water will not be out long. 

Short agreed, adding that the slip joint will help act to create "a controlled break." The new bridge "is in order," with the state in contact about it and the process moving forward. 

Bishop noted he rode with Short and Watts, noting he was a friend of Watts' father who he worked for years ago.

"I was impressed with some of the stuff they were talking about doing," he said. "You can look at computers and technology but you can also look at the ways they fix roads now. It is an updated thing now. I can see good things about it that will help us." 

"It is going to make a lot of citizens proud," District 3 Commissioner Ralph Williams said. "I wish we could do them all." Bishop said, "I think we all do, Ralph, but its - dollars." 

District 2 Commissioner Jeff Burrough asked for an update on the Smith Chapel Bridge project. Short said property acquisition is underway, but the death of one property owner has led to additional legal proceedings. 

Aderholt said during later commissioner comments that his priorities have been shifted, as he was planning to use district funds to pave a couple of roads, including Bryan Road in particular. He can now pave Bryan Road using County Rebuild Alabama Funds, via the increased state gas tax funds, and use district funds for other needs, such as Old Pineywoods Road. 

"We've been in contact with a couple of contractors and hopefully some potentially new technologies in paving will reduce costs. We can certainly test those out," he said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to shift some money in other areas. We need to do some road maintenance." 

A total of $386,752 in the new funds will cover the entire projected cost of the Bryan Road project, which will cover 2.44 miles.