Hwy. 55 project to end this summer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 6, 2013

Motorists in two counties – and maybe beyond – will be glad to hear that the Ala. Hwy. 55 project in Georigana will be completed by the end of this summer.

Or, at least that’s what Rep. Mike Jones (R-Andalusia) told members of the Andalusia Lions Club Wednesday.

“That’s probably one of the questions I get asked the most when I speak to groups,” Jones said in response to the audience question. “(State department of transportation) Director John Cooper has told me that it should be ready by the end of summer.”

When asked – half jokingly – which summer, Jones replied, “This summer. The summer of 2013.”

The route is the most traveled for locals heading north to the I-65 connector in Georgiana, and for those throughout the nation traveling through Alabama to the Florida beaches.

Star-News archives show the bid for paving the 4.6-mile section of roadway was let in 2011; however, Jones said the construction delay was caused by problems with the base layer of asphalt.

“That route actually is over a swamp,” Jones said. “While they were working, they noticed that the first layer of asphalt was cracked, and that was before any cars were even put on it. (ALDOT officials) required the contractors to come and fix the problem, and I’ve been told that things are now on schedule for the end of the summer.”

Cost for the project is estimated between $6.9 million and $8.4 million.

The project has been under way since May 2009.