Why is traffic being diverted?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the article regarding Mr. Jacob Morgan’s comments to the Florala City Council on behalf of the Covington County Economic Commission! Mr. Morgan is quoted as comparing Red Level’s traffic count to Florala’s by saying that Red Level doesn’t have the traffic count that Floral has. That’s certainly true, considering that Red Level doesn’t have any US highways, while Florala has two U.S. highways intersecting in the center of their downtown!

I find it interesting that the DOT has a sign on US84/AL55 in Andalusia detouring traffic off AL 55 to east through Opp to US 331. That’s a great way to up the count for both, Opp and Florala, and decrease the count on AL 55 south of Andalusia!

Just to be transparent, when I became mayor in Red Level in 2004, and throughout my eight-year tenure, the Council gave hundreds of dollars in dues to CCEDC. The only thing the people in Red Level got from CCEDC was the discovery that CCEDC had been complicit in helping relocate one of Red Level’s major sources of income, a furniture business, to the county seat, and Red Level was left with empty, dilapidating buildings.

I’m all for developing Covington County, especially Opp, Andalusia, and Florala, but it’s not fair to ride on the backs of the people who live in Red Level!

By the way, has the county completed paving the detour near Lockhart so Highway 55 traffic doesn’t have to drive from Andalusia to Opp to Florala? I understand the new traffic count on that bypass has risen to 600.

Mike Purnell


Editor’s note: The repaving of County Road 4 near Lockhart was completed in January. It was a joint state/county project.