The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 11, 2012

County to impose weight limit on bridge

By Jean Cole

— Dump trucks and other heavy vehicles that use the Lucas Ferry Road bridge over Mud Creek will soon have to find another route.

Limestone County Commissioners expect to vote Oct. 15 on a proposed weight limit for the bridge due to its deteriorating condition.

County Engineer Richard Sanders told commissioners during a work session Wednesday that the state Department of Transportation has recommended lowering the bridge’s weight limit 9 tons to 6. The bridge is located just south of Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road. 

“This would be gross weight,” Sanders said. “Not more than 6 tons loaded or unloaded.”

He said the average car weighs about 1 ton while a loaded dump truck weights 13 to 15 tons.

In the meantime, the county has applied for a grant to repair the bridge but it would be about 18 months before the work could be completed.

In other action Wednesday, commissioners reviewed the following proposals:

• Accept a $28,000 grant for recreational trails to repair drainage pipes and widen and repair the trail up to the Tennessee state line;

• Accept a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant for a senior center in East Limestone;

• Allow the Animal Control Department to shift $2,969 in department funds to buy a truck capable of hauling caged animals as well as for a license tag. The department had hoped to buy a truck off the state bid list but the animal traps would not fit in the back so a different truck is needed. The truck they are seeking costs about $3,000 more than the initial truck;

• Request from RSVP. Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee said the agency requested $1,750 last year;

• Request to change the schedule at the Farmers Market off Green Street in Athens to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays each week during the rest of the season due to slower sales;

• Consider a request by Commissioner Bill Latimer to spend an additional $2,850 for mechanical engineering services from Underwood Associates Architecture for work on the L&S Shopping Center off North Jefferson Street. The commission bought the buildings there and now hopes to renovate the space, which will be used for community corrections and state probation.