By Kim West
Four bridge-replacement projects are entering the survey and design phase after the Limestone County Commission approved preliminary engineering agreements Monday with Morell Engineering in Athens.
The engineering for the bridge projects totals $147,962, including only $29,592 in county funds and $118,370 in federal funds.
Morell will be paid $71,936 for preliminary work on the two bridges over Ragsdale Creek, and $38,013 for the bridge replacement on Lucas Ferry Road over Mud Creek.
The bridges over Ragsdale and Lucas Ferry roads are part of the eight projects within Limestone County announced by the state Jan. 29 as part of the Alabama Transportation and Rehabilitation Improvement Program. Deadline to apply for the next round of ATRIP funding is May 31. County Engineer Richard Sanders said the county would apply for at least seven additional projects.
Morell will also receive $38,013 to replace the bridge on Fielding Road over Coxey Creek from county and federal funds.
During Monday’s meeting, the commission also accepted an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation to maintain signs and legends installed by ALDOT at the Ingram Road railroad crossing.
A public hearing on vacating portions of two county roads is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, May 6, during the commission’s regular meeting. Shoal Creek Road from Gardner Hollow Road to the Tennessee state line, and a 2,230-foot portion of Dogwood Flats Road will be considered for vacation during the hearing after removed bridges turned both Dogwood Flats and Shoal Creek roads into dead-ends instead of through roadways.
Shoal Creek provides access to one property owner while Dogwood Flats provides access to fewer than four owners.
The commission also authorized the following items:
• A resolution with the city of Athens for the joint library project amending the initial expense budget from $250,000 up to $500,000;
• An application to apply for an ALDOT Transportation Alternative Program grant for improvements at the Limestone County Archives, and approval for Underwood & Associates to prepare plans for the grant application. The TAP grant would have a 20 percent match from the county to rehabilitate historical transportation facilities. Menefee said the project would cost about $4,500, not including the architectural plans, which the grant would not cover.
• The closing of a portion of Rails-to-Trails from Hays Mill Road to downtown Elkmont for a few hours Friday, Aug. 2, to allow participants to ride the trail in the Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days.
• An alteration to the Disabled American Veterans bingo permit to allow play Friday nights.
The commission will hold a work session at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 10, at the Washington Street annex.