BEAR CREEK - The anticipated opening of Timber Creek Housing this spring - with the expectation of 150 new jobs by summer - has resulted in a half million dollar industrial access project.
On March 9, the board of directors of the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Industrial Access Road and Bridge Corporation agreed to commit $565,100 to fully fund transportation improvements on County Highway 65 from Highway 172 three quarters of a mile to the industrial facility, which is located in the Bear Creek town limits.
Under the terms of this allocation, the Marion County Commission will be responsible for the preliminary engineering costs, right-of-way, utility costs and any project cost overruns, according to John R. Cooper, ALDOT director and president of the Industrial Access Road and Bridge Corporation.
Bear Creek Mayor Rob Taylor said plans have been in the works since late 2020 for this project. A joint meeting was held with the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments to discuss it, Taylor said.
The project will widen County Highway 65 and raise a large dip in the road bed leading to the manufacturing facility, the mayor stated. The purpose of the expansion and strengthening of the road is due to the heavy mobile home traffic expected once Timber Creek is in operation, town officials said.
Now that the funding for the project has been approved, the engineering process, where project plans will be drafted, will take place. ALDOT will contact the commission regarding execution of the funding agreement and approval of the project plans, which must be done before any advertisement for bids or the beginning of project work, Cooper stated.
Town officials do not anticipate the project to be completed prior to Timber Creek Housing beginning production, but a plan is being discussed for that.
Timber Creek plans to begin production with at least 30 employees, adding employees quickly to reach 150 employed by mid-summer, company officials stated.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.