Commissioners give reasons why County Road 54 is still not fixed

The status of a restoration project for the collapsed section of County Road 54 near Haleyville is in limbo until county officials can decide on a cheaper route toward making repairs.

HALEYVILLE    -  Progress toward restoring County Road 54 near Haleyville after a large section of the road collapsed over a year has been very slow, due to a number of factors, the Winston County Commission told the Alabamian.
In April 2022, a funding announcement was made concerning County Road 54, which links Dime Road to Airport Road, when $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds, provided through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, was announced for the project.
The commission adopted a resolution application April 18, 2022, for the competitive grant funds under urgent need.  The Northwest Alabama Council  of Local Governments handled the paperwork for the ADECA funding in order to get the CDBG funds, county officials said.  However, the CDBG grant only covered a little over half of the project costs, with the entire project at that time estimated at $350,000 to $400,000, county officials said.
The idea,  when the grant was approved, was for a bridge to span the large gaping hole that measures approximately  20 feet deep, 100 feet wide and 100 feet long, that was created when two culverts - each 15 feet in diameter and spanning 120 feet - collapsed in  February, 2022, officials said.
Actual work on the collapsed road has been dormant over the past year, with more erosion eating away portions of the collapsed road as county officials work to get the best cost for restoring the road.
Meanwhile, the $200,000 CDBG funds are also sitting in place until the county commission determines how much of its own money will be used to complete the remaining gap in project costs, noted District 2 Commissioner David Cummings.
“That’s the problem right now, a million dollars or $750,000 is coming out of our budget,” Cummings pointed out. “We can’t afford that kind of price. That is why we’re trying to come up with a cheaper permanent fix.”
The county has received bids for the project at $1 million, which would mean the county would have to provide $750,000 to go with the $200,000 CDBG grant in order for the project to be done.
“We let the project. It came in last week,” Cummings stated Thursday, Aug. 31. “The estimates on repairing that road, one was a little under a million dollars. One was a little over a million dollars.
“That is way out of budget,” Cummings pointed out.



See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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