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2017-08-09 / News

Blount County moving forward with planned road projects

by Ron Gholson

The first installment of county roads to be paved with 1-cent tax increase funds authorized by citizens last November is nearing completion with about two months left in the 2017 paving season.

In January, the Moving Blount County Forward (MBCF) paving plan was formulated calling for two high-traffic county roads in each district to be paved, with an additional road selected in the event that all factors, including weather, cooperated such that it could be added to the schedule. The following is a district-by-district report on road projects and their status.

District 1

County Road 4 (Rickwood Caverns Road) – paving complete; striping and placement of center line reflectors still to be done.

County Road 7 (Hayden to Blount Springs(– paving complete; striping and placement of center line reflectors still to be done.

Wallstown Road and part of Armstrong Loop – doubtful for paving by end of paving season* this year.

District 2

County Road 21 (Slab Creek Drive) – initial paving layer complete; now curing** before final asphalt layer is applied; paving completion estimated by end of month, weather permitting.

County Road 14 (Snead to near Gibbs Chapel) – initial paving layer complete; now curing** before final asphalt layer is applied; paving completion estimated by end of month, weather permitting.

County Road 10 (County Road 26 west to Cullman County Line)– possible, but not certain, that this road will be paved during remainder of this year’s paving season*.

District 3

County Road 29 (Highland Super Stop to County Road 24 at St. Clair County Line) – project complete.

Airport Road – extensive paving preparation work complete and initial paving layer applied; now awaiting curing* period; final asphalt layer will be applied by the end of the month, weather permitting.

County Road 12 (County Road 29 past Appalachian School to U. S. 231– possible, but not certain, that this road will be paved during remainder of this year’s pav ing season**.

District 4

County Road 13 (Locust Fork to Ala 160) – project complete.

County Road 57 (Rosa to County Road 26 at Hendrix) – extensive replacement of drainage pipes complete and initial paving layer applied; awaiting curing** before final asphalt layer is applied.

County Road 33 (Rosa to Ala 79 at Blowgourd) – doubtful for paving by end of paving season* this year.

*normally, paving is suspended with the arrival of cooler fall weather to assure proper adhesion of paving treatment to road surface – usually some time during October, occasionally early November.

**curing period between initial and final paving layers is normally two to four weeks, depending on weather and other scheduling factors. Tunnel, light at the end of

“The MBCF paving program (totalling 99.5 miles) will be substantially complete by the end of 2018,” said Commission Chairman Chris Green. “It’s possible it could carry over until summer of 2019, depending on the weather or other unexpected factors, but it’ll be finished in that general time period.

“I feel very good about the program at this point. Accolades go to county commissioners for their hard work, not to mention the new county engineer, who’s doing a great job on this. Can’t say enough about that. Even the paving contractor, Whitaker Contracting, has taken a personal interest in this work. It’s also great to see the progress being made at county schools as well, with MBCF parking lot paving projects already complete at several schools around the county and other important projects to come.”

MBCF by the numbers

$146,641

reimbursed to district budgets for their expenditures on paving preparation materials, such as replacement drainage pipes and gravel; does not include reimbursement for any labor or equipment-related related costs, since MBCF specifies covering costs of road materials only.

$2,167,761

paid to contractors to date for preliminary and final paving applications.

$734,048

total 1-cent tax proceeds collected, January through June this year.

$9.9 million

total debt associated with MBCF paving program loan.

$335,000

paid to reduce principal on MBCF loan.

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