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Rangeline Road to open soon for through traffic

Rangeline Road (or County Road 19) will be open soon all the way to Highway 28 for county motorists who use the route as an alternative to Highway 43 for traveling to Linden.

Using money from the 2000 state Amendment One bridge funding program, the county is replacing bridges considered unsafe for school buses, fire trucks and ambulances.

“We’re putting the guard rails up now,” said Marengo County Engineer Ken Atkins. They hope to be finished by Wednesday at the latest. The Department of Transportation must them formally accept the project before the road can be opened fully for traffic.

Other projects planned by the county engineer this year include work in a few weeks on Powell Creek Bridge on County Road 44 in the Providence community. That project will cost $522,000, Atkins said.

There will be construction of three bridges on County Road 53 and four bridges on County 55. The CR 53 project, which the engineer hopes to finish this year, will likely be the last to utilize Amendment One funding, he said.

Work on the CR 55 project will be funded through annual state highway funds, and construction will probably carry over into 2005.

The $250 million Amendment One appropriation approved by state voters allowed the state to spend some of the oil and natural gas royalties that previously went to the Alabama Trust Fund.

Amendment One funding will ultimately pay for the replacement of 13 bridges in Marengo County. “It sped up our progress five to six years,” he said. “It also allowed us to catch up on some of our paving on County Road 44, 20 and 30.”

Aside from the big bridge projects, the county hopes to work on Powe Road in Demopolis and Willie Dixon Road in Coxheath.

The dryer weather lately has allowed crews to provide regular maintenance to county roads. Hopefully, the rain will let up enough. “We’re actually getting to do some work,” Atkins said.

However, “it wouldn’t hurt the dirt roads to get a touch of a shower – just a touch.”