Road projects could be bid next month

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, December 13, 2011

There are five road projects in Covington County tentatively set to be let for bids in the first quarter of 2012 – two of which will benefit the Florala residents.

One much anticipated project for local residents is the widening and resurfacing of Alabama Hwy. 55 from the Florida state line in Florala to Alabama Street. This is a 1.49-mile project.

“The resurfacing and widening project on State Route 55 in Florala is tentatively listed by ALDOT to be let in January 2012,” said Rebecca White with the Alabama Department of Transportation. “However, there are factors that could affect and/or change the letting date of that project and others around the state including funding availability, permits, environmental clearance, right-of-way acquisitions and utility relocations issues.”

Also, work on “Safe Routes to School” grant will begin in Florala as ALDOT will open the project for bids on March 24.

In July, the city was awarded a $200,232 Safe Route to School Grant, which will pay for the installation of sidewalks and school zone traffic striping throughout the city to Florala High School following the closing of Florala City Middle School. The sidewalks will run along Begonia Street to Hwy. 85; from Sixth Street to Begonia Street; and along First and Second Avenues from Hwy. 85.

The Safe Routes to School program’s concept is to increase the number of children who walk or bicycle to school by funding projects to remove the barriers such as lack of infrastructure, an unsafe infrastructure, the lack of programs that promote walking and bicycling through education or encouragement programs aimed at children, parents and the community, that would prevent students from doing so.

White said the same factors impacting for the letting of the Florala project stand for the remaining projects on the list, which includes:

• the resurfacing and safety improvements on a one-mile stretch of U.S. Hwy. 84 at Yellow River Bridge.

• the widening and resurfacing of U.S. Hwy. 84 from the Conecuh County line to a half-mile west of Alabama Hwy. 55 in River Falls. In total, this is a 7.73-mile project.

• resurfacing Alabama Hwy. 55, a 1.55-mile section from the Brooklyn Road to south of U.S. Hwy. 84.

The bidding process for each of these projects is tentatively set to open on Jan. 27.