County moves ahead on replacing bridges

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 26, 2000

Staff Writer

Residents on Pike County Road 30 may not have to wait as long as expected for a new bridge.

Monday night, the Pike County Commission signed a resolution giving County Engineer Herb Huner authority to move ahead with the bridge project on what is commonly known as Petrey Road.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

He said the purpose of the resolution is "so we can initiate the project," that will join Pike and Crenshaw authorities since the bridge is on the county line.

The preliminary site survey is already underway and both counties will share the burden of cost, Huner said.

This particular bridge is one of 28 on a list compiled by county and state officials that are supposed to be fixed with money from Amendment 1, which passed last year.

As of this time, 19 of those projects are in progress, Huner said. The design phase has begun on five bridge projects. Huner is awaiting site visit results on two bridges and 11 are awaiting site visits. One of those bridges, Boyd’s Mill Creek, is still being considered by the Alabama Historical Commission.

Huner said it will likely be the first of next year before any project is ready to be let out for bid.

State transportation officials are planning to spend more than $4.2 billion in state and federal money on bridge and highway projects between now and 2005. Of those projects, some $1 billion in work is slated for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

With Pike County waiting for about $6.3 million of that money, Huner said work here "boils down to fixing those of top priority" since about $18 million is needed to do all the necessary work of replacing and repairing bridges in Pike County, as well as resurfacing roads.

The more than $6 million expected here is only "a drop in the bucket" to the county’s needs, Huner said.

"I don’t have nearly enough money to do all of them," Huner said of replacing and repairing bridges in Pike County.

He said "the idea" was to fix those which are heavily traveled, especially by school buses, and those which can not be crossed by large loads, such as emergency vehicles.

"That’s what our priority is here," Huner said. "The $6.3 million is nice, but it would take twice that amount."

Pike County has 48 bridges which are impassable by school buses and 82 of the county’s 182 bridges on inventory have a sufficiency rating below 50.

Huner said the list of 23 will be repaired or replaced over a five-year period because half of the money has to be committed in the first three years, which will include 18 bridges.

In other business, the commission:

· Approved step raises for four individuals who have reached their anniversary date.

· Gave permission for Probate Judge Bill Stone to hire a temporary Customer Service Representative II until a permanent replacement can be found for Vickie Bryan, who has submitted her resignation.

· Authorized overtime pay for employees in the Probate Office. The overtime was incurred during the move from the temporary courthouse location to the renovated Pike County Courthouse.

· Approved a travel request for Stone and his chief clerk to attend the Probate Judge Association Summer Conference. It was a budgeted item.

· Accepted the list of insolvencies, errors and taxes in litigation from Revenue Commissioner Curtis Blair, who presents these items to the commission each June.

· Granted a leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act to Carla Huie, an employee in the Revenue Commission Office.

· Approved a request for a satellite revenue commission office at Brundidge Station. Blair said plans are to open the office one day per week Oct. 1 through January so residents of Brundidge can pay their taxes locally. Cost to the commission will be

phone and modem lines.

"I think it’s a great idea," said Commission Chairman Willie Thomas said of the satellite office.

· Asked County Administrator Mark Tyner to look into credit union options for employees and to develop a list of office supply bidders.

· Gave county employees both July 4 and 5 off for the holiday. County offices will be closed as of 11:30 a.m., July 3 for the annual picnic, and will re-open July 6.