FLORENCE — If everything goes as planned, replacement work on two old Lauderdale County bridges will begin before the end of the year, county officials said.
“We have to wait on the relocation of the utilities, and when that is completed, the contractor should be ready to move on the projects,” Lauderdale County Engineer Ken Allamel said.
The projects involves replacing bridges on Lauderdale 49 in Anderson and Lauderdale 133 at the Wright community.
In September, the county commissioners approved a $684,198 contract with Glasgow Construction Co., of Guin, for the project.
County officials said the projects are being paid through a federal transportation grant and $136,839 in local matching money.
“These will be two more to get off our list of old bridges that need to be replaced,” Commissioner Larry Irons said. “These are both two-lane bridges, but they are old and narrow. They just need replacing.”
Allamel said the bridges have low weight limits, which causes issues.
“Neither school buses nor emergency vehicles can cross them,” he said.
Allamel said the bridge at Anderson has a 3-ton weight limit and there’s a 6-ton limit on the Lauderdale 133 bridge.
“Those old bridges with the low-weight limits make it a problem for school bus traffic,” said Commissioner Fay Parker, who also is the transportation director for the county school system. “It makes the routes a lot longer for the students going to school and getting home.
“Being able to replace the bridges will make it better and safer for everyone.” Allamel said each project will take about three months.
“Both are needed projects and having them replaced should help travel in those areas for the residents there,” he said.
He said the county has replaced four bridges this year.
“These will make six this year, and we’ve applied for more state money to do four more next year,” Irons said. “We’ve made a lot of progress in trying to get some of this old bridges replaced.” Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.