Leaders ask ALDOT to delay work

Published 7:21am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Elected officials are calling for the delay of one state road project in Selma, that would be taking place the same time as the replacement of the bridge on Dallas Avenue.

Detour routes are already in place for the July replacement of the bridge and the detour route will send high volumes of traffic through Cahaba Road — the road that will be repaved as part of another project by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Monday, State Rep. Darrio Melton sent a letter to ALDOT Monday, both thanking the state for the projects and funding, but urging them to stagger the roadwork as to not negatively affect residents and businesses.

“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,” Melton wrote to ALDOT, Gov. Robert Bentley and others. “Unfortunately, several projects are causing an unintended conflict, which will inevitably hurt our neighbors, businesses and community.”

In a June meeting with Selma Mayor George Evans, the Times-Journal learned he has requested as well that the state delay those repaving projects until the bridge replacement project is complete.

The bridge replacement project is set to shut down a portion of Dallas Avenue near Bloch Park for at least eight months, beginning July 30. The repaving projects of Cahaba Road will follow close behind.

Melton, in his letter, suggested two ways in which the state could stagger the projects to, “accommodate traffic sufficiently.”

“We can either postpone the Old Cahaba Road resurfacing project until the bridge is complete,” Melton suggested,” or we can do construction on the bridge during the day and the road at night. Either plan would allow traffic to flow during business hours when it is heaviest.”

ADLOT spokesperson Tony Harris said Monday he was unaware of any responses made to Melton’s or Evans’ requests.

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