Two simultaneous road work projects not a good ideaPublished 8:03pm Saturday, July 6, 2013
We knew the upcoming bridge replacement project on Dallas Avenue near Memorial Stadium was a big deal and a huge inconvenience to those who travel the busy thoroughfare each and every day. But when you take into consideration the fact this 8-month project has a real chance of severely, negatively impacting the livelihood of area residents, then it’s a whole new ballgame.
“If we would have known this project was coming up we might have delayed the (Sandbar) project for another year. Instead of opening this year, we might have postponed this until 2014,” said Gordon McLendon, co-owner of the Sandbar Restaurant at the Selma Marina. “I mean we are talking about eight months where our lunch crowd could be cut 50 to 75 percent. We really don’t know what the impact is going to be, but we do not see a positive impact of any sort with this bridge closing …”
McClendon’s words are powerful and words that should be taken into sincere consideration.
But, there’s nothing that can be done. The bridge is due to be replaced and when it comes to Alabama Department of Transportation projects like this bridge replacement, there’s even less that can be done to change it.
But, what compounds the impact to residents and businesses on the west side of Selma is the likelihood that two massive road and bridge projects have a real possibility of overlapping, causing what was already going to be a tough situation, much worse.
The much-needed repaving projects, funded mainly by the state, for Old Cahaba Road, J.L. Chestnut Boulevard and Medical Center Parkway is also approaching.
In a meeting with Selma Mayor George Evans, the Times-Journal learned he has requested the state delay those repaving projects until the bridge replacement project is complete. To our knowledge, no answer has been given to Mayor Evans on his request.
The rerouted traffic from Dallas Avenue, around the bridge replacement project will throw thousands of cars down Hooper Drive to the intersection of Old Cahaba Road, J.L. Chestnut Boulevard and Medical Center Parkway. Just imagine the complete disaster it would be if that area was being repaved. Honestly, we cringe at the thought.
We truly appreciate Mayor Evans requesting the state delay this ATRIP-funded repaving projects until the bridge on Dallas Avenue is replaced. But, we also know the state is going to do what the state is going to do.
It is our hope that, State Sen. Hank Sanders and State Rep. Darrio Melton, if they have not done so already, joining the petition, asking the state to delay these repaving projects.
We know these roads need to repaved. Anyone who risks their car’s suspension on these pot-hole infested roads will also agree.
But, what we do not need is two massive, and terribly disrupting, projects going on at the same time.