80 becomes Veterans Memorial Highway

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Sumter County Roads are going through changes on a local and nationwide basis. In most cases, the changes involve county engineer Anthony Crear working with the commission and county workers to get a smoother ride and more appealing view. In other cases the county is joining a national effort to honor veterans.

The County agreed to jump on board the State of Alabama’s effort to designate U.S. highway 80 as The Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway.

The Alabama Legislature earlier designated the highway as such in memory of the Korean War veterans who served with valor and distinction as members of the Armed Forces an made incalculable sacrifices and contributions to make the Armed Forces the powerful force it is today.

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The state felt it was time to thank and honor the men and women of the Armed forces and their family members and to inspire pride in what the Armed Forces represents to all Americans.

The Sumter County Commission felt the same. The state only asked that each county place signs on the highway acknowledging the new distinction. Commissioner Aubry Ellis said this was a small price to pay to honor our veterans.

“I think we should approve this designation,” Ellis said. “I believe all the other counties that it goes through have approved it. It is only going to cost us $249.”

Anthony Crear, County Engineer, also presented the commission with some projects in progress around the county. Crear said a road and bridge project that has been on the table for some time is getting closer to action.

“The Department of Transportation has taken the bids on the Bridge project on County Road 83 and County Road 4,” Crear said. “We have a fax alerting us to the fact that the commission needs to concur with the Department of Transportations decision if we wish to go forward with this.”

Crear said the project would not have a huge impact on the commission’s funds.

“Once again, the cost of the project will be paid by the department of transportation through your share of the Garvey fund,” Crear said. “You will not have to pay anything directly from the commissions funds.”

Crear said there are several other projects going on around the county, which he should be receiving feedback from soon.

“I should start getting reports on the road projects we are working on,” Crear said. “We are really concentrating on two projects more than the work orders. We are concentrating on the road projects. We have a July deadline to complete that and so we are working diligently on that.”

Clearings are also a major part of the projects. Crear said weather has taken a toll on some areas and they plan to give the areas a facelift.

“We are also doing some site distance improvement with some road clearings,” Crear said. “Some of it is from storm damage and some of it is just needed. We are working on County road 20 where we are doing some clearance. Those are just some of the things we are working on.”