Work to begin on final leg of Veterans Memorial Parkway
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Nov 29, 2013 | 3385 views |  0 comments | 86 86 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Traffic on the Veterans Memorial Parkway near McClellan where the new section meets the un-finished section. photo by Stephen Gross
Traffic on the Veterans Memorial Parkway near McClellan where the new section meets the un-finished section. photo by Stephen Gross
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State transportation officials say work soon will begin on a $12.2 million project to complete the last 3.7 miles of Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Once finished, the parkway will connect Interstate 20 to Alabama 21 and U.S. 431 north of downtown Anniston by a route through McClellan.

Rebecca White, ALDOT spokeswoman, said the notice to proceed with the project was approved by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Nov. 7.

The letter notifying the contractor, McCartney Construction of Gadsden, of the project’s final approval was mailed Nov. 13, White said. Contractors typically have 15 days from the time the notice is issued to agree to complete the work.

The work includes grading, drainage, paving, and installation of bridge culverts, signs and traffic signals, according to project documents.

Attempts this week to reach McCartney Construction for comment were unsuccessful, but White said the first indicators that work has begun will be the posting of signs and work-zone notices at the site. The project is expected to be complete by late spring or early summer of 2015.

Anniston Mayor Vaughn Stewart said by phone Tuesday that he is enthusiastic about the start of the last leg of the project.

“I appreciate the cooperation of the DOT stepping up to the plate here at the end and expediting it,” Stewart said. “We feel very good about it.”

Robin Scott, director of the McClellan Development Authority, said completion of the parkway has been “long awaited.”

Scott said he believes the parkway will provide an important access point to what will be a major Anniston traffic artery.

Once complete, the parkway will have an exit directly onto Summerall Gate Road, a main thoroughfare into McClellan.

“And it provides access for current and future corporate clients and others,” Scott said.

ALDOT spokeswoman Linda Crockett said a groundbreaking ceremony is tentatively set for Dec. 19. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to attend, Crockett said.

Congress approved the parkway project in 1998, but work in 2003 stalled due to lack of funds. The project restarted in 2009 after the state received a $47 million boost in federal money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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