State funds McClellan access road
by Paige Rentz
prentz@annistonstar.com
Feb 04, 2013 | 5117 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Crews recently cleared the path for a planned road to connect Iron Mountain Road to Alabama 21 north of Lenlock. It's hoped the road will help draw industry to McClellan.
Crews recently cleared the path for a planned road to connect Iron Mountain Road to Alabama 21 north of Lenlock. It's hoped the road will help draw industry to McClellan.
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Local officials say they’re excited about the possibilities for McClellan now that the city of Anniston will receive $4 million from the state for a new access road to the former fort.

The access road is one of more than 300 projects Gov. Robert Bentley approved on Monday as part of the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program or ATRIP.

Anniston received more than $4 million from ATRIP to extend Iron Mountain Road from its current end at Pappy Dunn Boulevard to Alabama 21 north of Lenlock. The local match for the project comes in at $1.25 million, all of which will be borne by Anniston, City Manager Don Hoyt said.

Officials at the McClellan Development Authority expressed their excitement over the project Monday.

“It will give us opportunity to bring some business to Calhoun County,” said MDA chairman Phil Webb. “That’s what we’re looking for.”

Robin Scott, executive director of the MDA, said the authority has been working on the project to improve Iron Mountain Road since 2003, when an automotive parts manufacturer moved into the industrial park.

“The need is still there and is in fact growing,” he said.

The first segment of the road was funded in 2008 and completed in 2010 and now carries about 4,000 cars per day from Veterans Memorial Parkway, Scott said. With access to Interstate 20 already achieved through the connection to the parkway, the new project will give the park better access to points north via Alabama 21 and U.S. 431.

Scott said the new road network developing at McClellan has the potential to help bring jobs to the community and grow the economy by making the industrial park more attractive to potential businesses.

“It allows us to be competitive with other industrial parks in other cities because it provides easy access to our clients,” he said.

City Planner Toby Bennington said the new leg of Iron Mountain Road could take 16 to 22 months to complete. Although the MDA has already cleared some of the right-of-way, said Bennginton, the time to complete the project could fluctuate based on factors such as topography and terrain. Based on a former project timeline, he said, he expects the work to be let out for bids by December or January 2014 and the project to be complete by December 2014 or early 2015. Once it’s done, the city will seek a functional classification for the road network so that any future improvements can qualify for state funding through the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The new round of ATRIP grants — which are funded through government bonds that allow the state to access future federal dollars — will also help complete a number of other local projects, including $5.85 million to replace seven bridges throughout Calhoun County.

Assistant County Engineer Michael Hosch said the bridges are all posted, meaning that they have weight limits that are lower than state legal limits for one or more types of vehicles the state rates.

Hosch said the bridges, which are currently off-limits to school buses or certain types of trucks, will be brought up to weight limits that are now state standard. The projects will cost the county $1.46 million in all.

County bridges to be replaced, with total project costs, include:

• Choctaw Street, $759,360.00

• Grayton Road, $1.39 million

• Verbon George Road, $959,440.00

• Wellington Road, $378,520.00

• Gilbert's Ferry Road, $849,400.00

• Brown Ridge Road, $1.3 million

• Steinburg Road, $1.7 million

Other funded projects include:

• Resurface Boiling Springs Road from the Talladega County line to Alabama 77, $1.2 million

• Resurface Choccolocco Road from Scarbourgh Lane to Alabama 9, $1.58 million

• Road improvements at 10 intersections along Alabama 21 in Jacksonville, $1.9 million

• Resurfacing Main Street, Astor Avenue, Alexandria Road and Cedar Springs Road in Weaver, $481,436.66.

Staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.

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