• 77°

Long-awaited four-lane to Opp soon underway

The path between Andalusia and Opp may be getting smoother soon.

The first of three construction phases to four-lane U.S. Highway 84 between Andalusia and Opp is set to begin within weeks following acceptance of a bid opened on Friday.

House Speaker Seth Hammett and State Senator Jimmy Holley announced that the contracting firm W.S. Newell of Montgomery submitted the apparent low bid of $3,458,000 for the first phase of the Highway 84 improvements between Andalusia and Opp.

The first phase will involve grading and bridge work to widen Highway 84 between Babbie and Opp.

"This phase in four-laning Highway 84 underscores my commitment to seeing this project through to completion," said Hammett. "I am especially pleased to have assisted in making this project a reality because of its immediate impact on the lives of Covington County residents and its potential impact on the region's economy.

"This latest bid-letting is the first progress we've had on this four-laning project between Andalusia and Opp," said Holley. "With right-of-way acquisitions underway along this route, a monumental road project for south Alabama is finally taking shape."

Alabama Department of Transportation Utility Engineer Gerald Wilkes said the relocation project will extend from County Road 77 to Highway 331 south of Opp.

"This is a grade, drain and bridge project of approximately 3.3 miles," said Wilkes.

Ronnie Baldwin, ALDOT pre-construction engineer, said two other projects related to the four-laning of Highway 84 have already been approved and work has begun.

"The next phase of the project between Andalusia and Opp will be between Andalusia and Sanford. We are finishing right-of-way acquisitions along that route and hope to let bids in the spring of 2003," said Baldwin.