Preliminary work continues on crucial repaving project

Published 12:01 am Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stopping point: A planned road resurfacing project will see portions of Old Cahaba Road — stretching to the three-way stop — reworked.

Early this summer, funding from the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program was delegated by Gov. Robert Bentley for 105 road and bridge improvement projects, two of which are in Selma and Dallas County. The projects, which began in June, are currently on budget and still in the planning phase.

“No physical work has been done yet. We are still in the planning phase,” Charlotte Griffeth, director of the Selma Department of Planning and Development said. “Once ALDOT releases and says the plans are approved, then it will be bid and we will be ready to go to work.”

The road projects are on parts of Old Cahaba Road, from King Street to the Old Marion Junction Road and on Medical Center Parkway, from Old Cahaba Road to U.S. Highway 80.

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The Alabama Department of Transportation has completed it’s first review of the engineering plans and requested some minor changes.

“For instance from King Street to Old Cahaba Road, the lanes are only eight feet wide and they would prefer to expand them to a 10 foot wide lane,” Griffeth said. “We don’t have enough room without acquiring the right of way from private owners so we will reduce the speed limit at Cahaba Road –and in some places it’s already 25 mph, but now for the entire stretch it will be 25 mph. We have got to make sure we post [signs].”

Griffeth said ALDOT has approved those plans.

“The next [thing] for the ATRIP projects, they will be bid out by ALDOT once all of this is formally written up in the engineering plans [and] ALDOT will bid the project,” Griffeth said. “We are hoping for a December bid for the project, which would put them to work maybe six weeks later.”

That Old Cahaba Road project received $479,636 in the ATRIP funding, and the city of Selma matched the ATRIP funds, with an additional $119,909. Overall, the project is projected to cost $599,545.
Dallas County received $245,366.40 in ATRIP funding for the work on Dallas County Road 80, which was matched by $61,341.60 in county funds, for a total of $306,708 project.

The two projects combined will receive a total of $725,002.40 of ATRIP funding and $181,250.60 local funds, meaning resurfacing projects’ total cost is $906,253.

“We are on budget,” Griffeth said. “We have not begun to expand the state funds yet because we are still in the engineering phase, but once ALDOT bids the project then it normally goes fairly quickly. The planning phase is always the longest part of the project.”