Water Avenue reopens

Published 10:06 pm Monday, May 23, 2016

Water Avenue reopened Monday with a different view. The former Safelite Building has been demolished and street erosion repaired.

Water Avenue reopened Monday with a different view. The former Safelite Building has been demolished and street erosion repaired.

Water Avenue has reopened between Church Street and Lauderdale Street after being closed for several months due to a cave-in and erosion.

Part of the riverside caved in during the fall of 2005 and the problem progressively got worse, taking part of the street and eventually the old Safelite building.

Repairs to the storm drains and to shore up the riverbank cost about $250,000, according to Selma Mayor George Evans.

Consultant Ray Hogg did the design and inspections, while REV Construction, Inc. out of Tuscaloosa made the repairs. REV Construction also repaired storm drains underneath Lauderdale Street from the Bienville Monument to the Dallas County Courthouse last year.

Evans said he is glad the needed repairs have been made and Water Avenue is open again.

“I think it’s very important that one of the beautiful and historical areas in our city has been repaired. There are businesses operating and the repairs made restored easier access for travel,” Evans said.

Evans said once repairs were underway, additional damage was found and fixed.

“There was a portion of the road that had caved in and washed away. We went further up Church Street because as we went in with cameras, we found areas that would probably become a problem later on. We repaired all of that,” Evans said.

Gallery 905 opened in November of 2015 and is located at 905 Water Ave.

Manger Becky Youngblood said the number of visitors slowed own due to the construction, but she is confident thinks will pick back up now that repairs are complete.

“I’m anxious to see how things will go. I feel like we will have a lot more foot traffic. We had a steady flow of customers pretty much all of the time.”