ROAD WORK AHEAD: Bridge replacement, paving starts soon

Published 4:45 pm Friday, March 14, 2014

The long bridge on Jackson Street in Demopolis will soon be replaced with ATRIP funds.

The long bridge on Jackson Street in Demopolis will soon be replaced with ATRIP funds.

Several road and street projects will be under way soon in Demopolis.

The work on the Whitfield Canal bridge on Jackson Street should begin within the next 30 days, according to Mayor Mike Grayson.

“They’ve been doing some engineering and clearing in preparation to start that project,” Grayson said. “We waited until now to really get going for a couple of reasons. First, we were trying to wait on the weather to change so they had fewer weather interruptions in the process. Second, we wanted to wait until closer to the end of school so it will be less of an inconvenience on the citizens.”

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Grayson said he feels the bridge project is an important one to start as soon as possible.

“Considering the photos I’ve seen of the bridge and the safety concerns, I believe it’s important to get this project going,” he said. “We want to make sure we keep Demopolis a safe and clean city.”

The city applied for the project during the first Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) application process, but was not approved for the funding.

The Alabama Department of Transportation soon came out with the Rural Assistance Match Program, which helps counties and cities that had a hard time meeting the 20 percent match required for ATRIP.

RAMP allows cities and counties to receive state funds to help meet the matching requirements for the federal ATRIP funds.

Grayson said there will also be a bid opening on Tuesday, April 1 for street resurfacing projects in the city.

The streets or portions of streets being considered for paving are Powe Road, Clover Ridge Drive, Cromwell Avenue, Washington Street, Strawberry Avenue, South Walnut Avenue, Main Avenue in downtown, Front Street, James Drive, Eastern Circle, Olive Drive and Mauvilla Drive.

“The streets are important because we can’t let our infrastructure go,” Grayson said.

“We’re trying to bring folks in as far as industries and businesses, and we have to look inviting.”