Still, it’s expected to be nine months to a year before the first work is done on any of the bridges.
The county has four of the projects ready to be designed, said Tim Wade, assistant county engineer. Those projects include County Road 5 over Lockchelooge Creek, County Road 2 over Carr Creek, County Road 96 over Silas Creek and one of the bridges on County Road 118 over Dynne Creek.
The county received grants from the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program and the Rural Assistance Match Program, which will allow it to build the projects with federal and state money. The state approved 12 bridges for the grants, but County Engineer Shannon Robbins said he’s unsure how many the county will be able to build with the $5 million available.
“One or two of them may be delayed,” Robbins said. “The market conditions will determine how many of the 12 bridges will be built.”
In order to stretch the funding, the county asked for permission to design four of the bridges in-house using ALDOT standards, Wade said. But the county needs a geotechnical consultant to find out how deep the rock is on the sites. That will determine what type of bridge will be suitable for the sites, Robbins said. The County Commission is asking ALDOT to release some of those funds to pay the consultant, he added.
Robbins said that the geotechnical consultants should be chosen and the design process should be underway by November. Still, because the county is working on 12 bridges at once, it’s a long process, Robbins said.
“We are probably nine to 12 months from the first projects beginning construction,” Robbins said.
Of the other eight bridges, the bridge on County Road 18 over Tallapoosa River is closest to construction, Wade said.
The county started the process to build that bridge probably five years ago under another grant, Wade said, but the funding fell through and the project was stalled. Because it’s been longer than three years, the paperwork has to be resubmitted, but the information is already available, he added.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.