State Hwy. 55 may be 4-laned in future

Published 11:59 pm Friday, October 2, 2009

State transportation workers are currently performing a “corridor study” to determine the feasibility of four-laning State Hwy. 55, between Andalusia and Florala.

Motorists along that section of highway may have noticed the multitude of state vehicles and engineers working along the southern Covington County roadside. According to Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) district engineer Bill Wofford, those engineers are doing the “physical work” of the study, which was made possible by a $200,000 appropriation by the state DOT. Wofford said the work has been under way for a “couple of weeks.”

“First off, I have to emphasize this work does not mean that the four-laning of 55 is coming,” Wofford said. “What they are doing is gathering data and other information to be able to look at Hwy. 55 South to see if a four-lane would be warranted in the future. They’re looking at what it will take to build it, how long it would take and what needs to be done to make the project happen.

“That would be a very significant project, and understandably a lot of planning,” he said. “Again this is just the physical work of determining if the project is even feasible. It may happen in five to 10 years or it may never happen. We just don’t know, and that’s why this study is so important.”

Wofford said he was unsure how much work is yet to be done on the study or when the results will be available.

If undertaken, the project would complement the four-laned section of the roadway in the north end of the county, as well as a 4.66-mile section in Georgiana that, once it is completed, will connect the highway to Interstate 65.