Council approves $2.8 million project to widen McKinley Road

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2017

After years of planning, a $2.8 million construction has been approved to widen McKinley Road from George Wallace Drive to the roundabout.

Of that sum, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) has provided over $1.6 million in funds through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP). Another $1 million for the project will come from Troy University. The remaining $135,000 will be paid by the city. The project is the third and final phase of ATRIP.

Project engineer Tim Ramsden explained the history behind the project and why it has taken this long to complete.

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“The first project that we did was the widening of Three Notch to three lanes and resurfacing Madison and Montgomery streets,” Ramsden said. “The second project was resurfacing Henderson Highway and Enzor road and re-doing the bridge on Elm Street.

“During that project we also reclassified McKinley because it was a private university-owned road even though the city was doing maintenance on it. So when we did the application, we did it as a cooperative project between the university and city.”

Ramsden said the project was initially meant to span even further from George Wallace Drive to Madison/Montgomery Street, but ATRIP funds wouldn’t allow for it.

Another change to the project was the route that the road will take. Originally planned as a widening to four lanes in it’s original alignment, concerns about removing shady oak trees in the area prompted the route to be changed so fewer trees are removed. The decision also changed the widening to three lanes instead of four.

Ramsden said the intersection of McKinley and George Wallace will also be improved as part of the project to allow better access in and out of the university as well as the Charles Henderson High School campus.

“That intersection has always been an issue and more and more students going to the university and Charles Henderson just makes it more and more of an issue,” Ramsden said.

The project is set to be completed within 180 days of starting, but Ramsden said that could easily turn into 9 months and there is no set time for construction to begin.

“The project won’t break ground for at least three or four months,” Ramsden. “The project should be completed by the end of 2108.”

The council unanimously approved for the project to move forward.

The council also unanimously approved the purchase of two meters at the Elm Street Substation for $7,000.

Utilities manager Brian Chandler explained that new internal policies of Alabama Power prompted the need to buy the meters.

“Those meters have been owned by Alabama Power, but now they’re requiring the city to own those meters,” Chandler said. “Our options are to either purchase these meters or buy new one, but the cheapest and easiest route is to purchase these meters.”

Chandler explained that purchasing new meters would cost more to begin with and additional costs would have to be added to install the new meters and connect them back to the correct agencies.

“If we purchase these meters, everything will continue running exactly as it already is,” Chandler said.

The next meeting of the Troy City Council will be held Tuesday, August 8 at City Hall.

The executive committee will meet upstairs for a wrok session and move to the council chambers at 5 p.m. for the official council meeting.