MUSCLE SHOALS — James Vance is happy with the progress he’s seeing along Wilson Dam Road in Muscle Shoals.
In September, a Tennessee construction company began widening Wilson Dam Road from roughly Avalon Avenue to the Norfolk Southern Railway overpass, a project that had been on hold for nearly three years.
Three new lanes will be built, creating a five-lane highway with a center turn lane.
As manager of the Muscle Shoals Water Department, Vance said he’s keeping track of the project through the engineering firm of White Lynn & Collins.
Evidence of construction is becoming more and more visible along the project route.
Black silt dams have been positioned near the boundaries of the 1.9-mile work area to help prevent erosion from stormwater runoff. The route of the new lanes has been graded in places between Sixth Street and the railroad overpass. Large stacks of black pipe sit along the route where new water and sanitary sewer lines will be installed.
Vance said the utility relocation is going well and is on schedule.
“We’ve had no issues from Sixth Street to south of the overpass,” Vance said. “We’re about to move into the phase of water lines and sewer lines from Sixth Street To Avalon Avenue.”
Lee Jones, project manager for Highways Inc., said subcontractor CD Roberts Contracting, of Jasper, is handling the water, sewer and gas line relocation. Highways Inc. was awarded the project after submitting the low bid of $11.6 million.
“The water and gas lines in our contract have got a real good start,” Jones said. “It’s progressing well.”
While outside their contract, Jones said the relocation of electric, phone and cable lines also is moving forward.
He said sewer line relocation will likely begin after the first of the year.
Vance said the utility work will become more congested when the work moves into the next phase north of Sixth Street. He said there are more utilities concentrated in that stretch of Wilson Dam Road. Contractors must relocate the new lines while making sure to keep the existing utilities active until the new lines are installed.
In an effort to get the project under way, the Alabama Department of Transportation decided to roll the remainder of the utility relocation into the construction of the new lanes.
“It’s worked out well,” Vance said.
Jones said the remaining utility relocation could take until the summer or next fall to complete.
On the road construction side of the project, Jones said they’ve built a stormwater retention pond and a frontage road on the south end of the project where they’re beginning work on storm drainage system.
Jones said the plan is to begin building the road on the south end of the project while the utility relocation is completed on the north end.
Once the new lanes are completed, traffic will be shifted to those lanes and the existing lanes will be rebuilt.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.