County working toward Gandy Ferry Road improvements
Published 8:17 am Friday, March 11, 2016
The Marengo County Commission is working toward making improvements to Gandy Ferry Road to create easier access to a park and boat landings.
According to Commission Chairman Dan England, the county is receiving a grant to help fund the project, which is estimated at $750,000. The county will match 20 percent of the grant.
Gandy Ferry is currently a dirt road that leads to Spillway Falls, a park area and boat landing constructed by the Corps of Engineers about 10 years ago. England said he feels the park is under-utilized due in large part to the condition of the dirt road that leads to it.
“(The park area) has amazing fishing opportunities and offers one of the best views in Demopolis. A lot of people choose not to use the park due to the roughness of the road and the wear-and-tear on their vehicle or they wait until the county grades the road,” England said.
Helping move the project forward, England, who owns a surveying company, is volunteering to do the surveying of the property along the road to help save the county money on the project. The data being collected through the survey is being sent to Volkert Engineering in Mobile where they will begin the design work. The plans will be submitted to the Alabama Department of Transportation for its approval prior to construction. England said he hopes construction on the road will be completed by the end of this year.
“(Marengo County Engineer) Ken Atkins and I will continue be involved in this road building process,” England said. “The Marengo County Road Department will also try to do in-kind services to keep the project cost as low as possible.”
England said he hopes the efforts to improve the road will lead more people to utilize the Spillway Falls park.
“In the past, Gandy Ferry Road was seen as an old gravel road that was always too muddy or rough,” he said. “Hopefully, this project will change that because I believe the park is a very valuable attraction and asset to Marengo County and Demopolis.”