County, Corps awarded grant to pave Gandy Ferry RoadBy Matt Cole Published 11:39am Friday, April 11, 2014
Marengo County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Demopolis received notification Thursday that they will be receive grant money to pave Gandy Ferry Road to Spillway Falls Park.
The grant, which is part of the Federal Land Access Program, is intended to improve roads leading to federal lands. The Corps applied for the grant in January.
Gandy Ferry Road is currently a dirt road in which the county has the easement, but both the city of Demopolis and the Corps have stake in it as well.
Brandon Smith with the USACE said the next step is for the Corps and the county to meet and come up with a plan.
“We’re going to meet Tuesday, April 15 to figure out what we need to do next,” he said. “We want to get our best game plan together Tuesday so that we’re ready when they call us from Washington, D.C.”
Smith said the Corps is excited to be able to pave the road.
“We average about 70,000 visitors a year at Spillway Falls Park, and I think this road being paved will nearly double that,” he said. “A lot of people don’t want to go down there because they don’t want to get their cars dirty. Once it’s paved, I think a lot of people will want to go see what’s down there.”
Smith added that he could see the Corps adding more amenities to the area in the future if the number of visitors increases like he expects.
“Partnering like this makes us look more favorable to the budget office because we went outside the box to find the money,” he said. “If visitation goes up, so will our budget.”
The total cost of the paving project will be approximately $700,000.
“There are match requirements for the county, so we’re going to find out what those are,” Smith said. “We don’t know when the project will start, but we’re so excited to have the money coming our way.”