S3N stalled until 2016

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It likely will be mid-summer of 2016 before planned improvements to South Three Notch Street in Andalusia are completed, Tim Ramsden of CDG Engineering told members of the Andalusia City Council Tuesday.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced the $8.6 million in Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) funds for the project in February of 2013. The project requires a local $2.1 million match, and will be used to bring South Three Notch Street to the standards of East Three Notch and River Falls streets, complete with underground utilities, new sidewalks, and decorative lighting.

Ramsden explained that, unlike other road projects awarded through the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), the state will let bids for this project.

“We had the plans to DOT in early January of 2014,” he said. “They were 90 percent complete plans.”

In March, ALDOT wanted to meet with the city and its engineers and questioned turning lanes included in the project.

“We went back to the traffic study,” Ramsden said. “The reason we did that was to try to justify our design for the future.”

The plan keeps the street two lanes from the railroad tracks to Simmons, where it transitions to a three-lane street with a universal turn lane. In addition, there are turning lanes at the hospital and at Moore Road.

Ramsden said he will present the next set of plans in July, and expects to have several more reviews.

“Right now, the letting schedule is for January of 2015,” he said. “We anticipate construction, two to three months after that.”

However, he said, the scope of the ATRIP projects is so large that there aren’t enough contractors to complete them as soon as they are let.

The Andalusia project will be 240 working days, which usually ends up being 12 to 15 months, Ramsden said, adding that the project will likely be completed in mid-summer of 2016.