Still Pond Road to be widened

Published 9:50 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Travelers using Still Pond Road to detour around bridge construction on Hwy. 55 from Lockhart to Florala will soon also be dealing with road work.

The Covington County Commission Wednesday entered an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation to widen and resurface Still Pond Road.

County engineer Darren Capps said the 3.7-mile, narrow road typically is traveled by 120 cars a day. However, with the bridge construction on Hwy. 55, traffic counts are at 2,400 cars per day.

State highway department signs advise motorists that Hwy. 55 is closed, but do not direct them to Still Pond Road because it was believed the road could not handle the traffic. However, electronic devices are helping motorists identify the route.

Capps said the state will provide $350,000 of the estimated $470,000 project.

“It can be done fairly quickly,” Capps said. “We have an annual bid in place for plant mix. The contractor can start work just as soon as we get the agreement in place.”

Commissioner Carl Turman said he was traveling the very narrow road with Capps recently when they met a loaded log truck “on our side.”

“I told Darren to hit the ditch,” Turman said. “He got over on the shoulder so we could get out of the way of the truck.”

Both Capps and Commission Chairman Bill Godwin said they are worried if they don’t go forward with the repairs, the road base will be damaged, driving up the costs of repair. The current project, once started, is expected to be completed in a week.

Godwin said Capps is exploring other sources of revenue for the county’s portion of the match.

Another option is to use a portion of the $2 million the county borrowed to use as matching funds for ATRIP projects, the said.

“We might also have some FEMA money,” he said, adding FEMA reimburses the county for set project costs. If the county can complete the projects for less, those monies can be used elsewhere.

In other business, the commission:

• Renewed its contract with the Albrittons and Clifton firm for legal services. The contract is for three years. Tom Albritton is the current county attorney.

• Declared a severe weather awareness tax holiday for Feb. 20-22, 2015.