ATRIP projects on schedule

RED BAY – After receiving grant money in the second round of funding through the Alabama Transportation and Rehabilitation Improvement Program (ATRIP), Red Bay officials said they are ready to move forward with plans for the project that will fix problems on one of the city’s busiest roads.

On Monday, Franklin County highway engineer David Palmer and project engineer Brad Williams addressed the city council concerning the project that is slated for Golden Road in the summer of 2014.

Included in the project is a resurfacing of Golden Road from Alabama 24 to the bridge near the Alabama-Mississippi state line and a culvert replacement project at that same bridge.

The total cost for the project comes to $771,560 with local matching funds totaling $146,312 that will be distributed between the city of Red Bay and the county, who jointly sponsored the project.

“This was a necessary project, not just because of the resurfacing work that needed to be completed on Golden Road, but because of the culvert replacement,” Palmer said.

“The culvert will be a triple barrel 10×14-foot concrete box culvert. Not only will this be bigger and more adequate to handle the run-off that flows through the culvert, but it will replace the four to five metal pipes that are currently in place in this structure.

“The problem with the metal pipes is they will soon rust out because of how long they’ve already been there. This concrete culvert will not have to be replaced in our lifetime.

“By being proactive and taking care of this problem now, you have made it where you can schedule the work and get it done in a timely manner as opposed to the structure failing and it taking up to a year to get all the repairs and replacements taken care of.”

As it stands, Williams said the project is expected to take 60-90 days, during which time the affected sections of Golden Road will be out of commission – something that is a big concern for the city council.

“When we had road work completed on Golden Road back in January, it was really a hardship on our businesses located through that area, so we want to make sure we have deadlines for this work to be completed and that we stick to them,” councilman Brad Bolton said.

When the council submitted the project for approval, they agreed the timeframe right after July 4, 2014 would be best for the local businesses.

Williams said it shouldn’t be a problem to get work scheduled for that time.

“As soon as we submit the plans, we should be able to let the project [out for bids] on April 4,” Williams said.

“It takes about two months to get through the awarding process, and that should give us enough time to get started as quickly as possible after the fourth of July.”

Palmer said they would not be putting a detour into the plans since that would be an extra expense, so businesses and city residents would have to make alternate plans if they would need to travel through or around the affected portion of Golden Road.

“We want to make this as seamless as possible,” Palmer said. “We appreciate the city working with us to bring this project about because, in the end, it will be a great benefit to the city of Red Bay.”

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