Elm Street repairs delayed until 2015

Published 12:05 am Saturday, February 22, 2014

Repairs on Elm Street will take another year to complete, according to city officials.
The focus of the project is a portion of Elm Street just outside city limits and a joint effort between Pike County and the City of Troy.
Funding came from ATRIP, an Alabama Department of Transportation-administered federal aid highway program. The ALDOT foots 80 percent of the cost if the county agrees to cover the other 20 percent.
“That is a county road and the county only applied for it because the city agreed to pay the 20 percent,” said Troy Mayor Jason Reeves.
Because of the funding ties, the project has to be in compliance with ALDOT standards. Reeves said the city recently completed a traffic study to estimate road use for the next 10 years. That study changed the extent of the project.
Rather than the 20-foot culvert replacement the city had proposed, ALDOT standards called for a new bridge.
Reeves said the 10-year historical traffic count was 11 vehicles over the requirements for the culvert.
“The 10-year traffic count is saying we have to put in a 40-foot bridge,” he said.
Tim Ramsden, senior project manager/engineer, said the bridge is in design phase but would be a nearly perfect square if built to ALDOT specifications.
“It is still only going to be two lanes wide,” he said. “It’s going to have eight-foot shoulders on each side and be between 40-48 feet in length, almost square.”
When engineers first looked at the project, they found that a bridge would actually be cheaper than the proposed culvert.
Another hurdle to pass will be the required environmental impact study. The bridge would be constructed in wetlands.
“So, we’re limited on what we have to do to mitigate it,” Reeves said. “It’s a complex concern and the inconvenience is bad, but we’re going to do what we can and we’ve been talking to the state DOT.”
Reeves said officials had a lengthy meeting with ALDOT a few weeks ago.
The project is still in its planning stages. Ramsden estimated construction would start in late fall and complete sometime in 2015.
“It is obviously a very important project to the city and … we understand the inconvenience,” Ramsden said. “That is why we are moving as quickly as we can to complete it.”

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