The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 31, 2012

Huntsville firm awarded contract on U.S. 72 project

— A Huntsville firm submitted the low bid on a project to resurface and add a center turning lane to 12.51 miles of U.S. 72 from just west of the Athens city limits to the Elk River bridges.

Reed Contracting Service Inc. submitted a bid of $6.02 million for the project, which was let on Friday. Keenum Construction of Muscle Shoals submitted a bid of $6.8 million, while Wiregrass Construction of Montgomery submitted a bid of $7.1 million.

Officials with the Alabama Department of Transportation estimated the total cost would be between $5.9 million and $7.2 million. The project is expected to last 180 working days.

Since 1994, there have been at least 32 deadly crashes along the stretch of road, though Coroner Mike West said there have been no deaths this year.

Though there are center-turning lanes in certain spots, the absence of turn lanes throughout means drivers are often forced to stop in the middle of the road to take a left onto a side street.

In 2004, then-Gov. Bob Riley promised to add a fifth lane, which would allow motorists to turn left without stopping traffic behind them or causing wrecks.

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