The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 16, 2013

Cowford Road reopens for all traffic

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— The early arrival of a new pipe and the teamwork of two county work crews hastened the repairs to Cowford Road, which reopened Friday to all traffic after the previous week’s flooding caused the washout of a major drainage pipeline.

The previous 40-foot long pipe extended beneath a section of road between Nuclear Plant and Browns Ferry roads in southwest Limestone County. In addition to the impact of heavy rains during the weekend of July 4, the galvanized steel culvert rusted and collapsed from decades of traffic, according to District 3 Commissioner Bill Latimer.

Latimer said after Monday’s County Commission meeting that a replacement was ordered Monday, July 8, from Pelham, and it arrived the following day. He said District 3 workers teamed with the paving crew that spends two weeks in each of the county’s four districts to complete the work ahead of schedule.

“We had the new pipe sooner that I thought we would. The pipe arrived Tuesday, and we installed it Thursday,” Latimer said. “We had to coordinate with the (Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority) because they had to move a big water line around the end of the pipe.”

The commissioner described the new conduit as three times bigger than the original with measurements of “45 inches in height and an inside diameter of 73 inches.”

“It will be six weeks until we get the paving crew back, and the road isn’t ready to repave now,” he said.

County invoice records show the pipe cost $4,799.20. Latimer said the total bill for labor and materials is “probably around $25,000.” The crews back-filled the roadway with dirt and spread gravel, and the affected stretch of road will be resurfaced with plant mix when the paving crew rotates back to District 3, he said.