ALDOT should reconsider timing of projects

Published 7:37am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

An open letter to the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program concerning two road projects set to take place in Dallas County. 

In May, Gov. Rovert Bentley announced more than 300 new road and bridge projects through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP).

Dallas County was fortunate enough to receive state funding to assist with six projects to improve our roads and bridges and make travel more enjoyable for everyone.

The first phase of the ATRIP projects in Dallas County is expected to cost nearly $1 million, of which the state is paying 72 percent. The economic impact of these projects on the city, county and region will be tremendous.

Unfortunately, several projects are causing an unintended conflict, which will inevitably hurt our neighbors, businesses and community.

The bridge replacement project on Dallas Avenue will take at least eight months to complete, which will make traveling to the west side of the city difficult, especially for football games. Couple the bridge replacement project with resurfacing projects on the detour route, and the area is going to be disastrous to travel.

Selma Mayor George Evans is right to call attention to this issue. The common goal for all parties involved is to improve the community. While we are grateful for the state’s assistance and funding on the ATRIP projects, I would like to join Mayor Evans in requesting the implementation be staggered as to accommodate the residents of Selma and Dallas County.

There are two ways to stagger the projects that I think will accommodate traffic sufficiently. We can either postpone the Old Cahaba Road resurfacing project until the bridge is complete, or we can do construction on the bridge during the day and the road atnight.

Either plan would allow traffic to flow during business hours when it is heaviest.

While I understand that the heavy investment by the State gives the Department of Transportation the ability to implement these projects according to the state schedule, I hope you will consider our request.

I believe we can work together to complete these projects without causing unnecessary complications for the residents of Selma.


Rep. Darrio Melton

House District 67

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