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Motorists who travel Sanderfer Road between Hine and Jefferson streets in Athens will soon have a wider road to drive upon.

Athens City Council members voted 4-0 Monday to proceed with plans to widen Sanderfer Road from Hine Street to west of Jefferson Street. The road is being expanded to handle increased traffic to and from the new Toyota Boshoku AKI USA LLC manufacturing plant, which will be located on land that was once Jimmy Gill Park.

Also Monday, council members authorized the city's Street Department to widen Indian Trace Road from the intersection of Lindsay Lane to about 300 feet east.

Under normal conditions, work on the two projects would begin in six to 12 weeks, said Public Works Director James Rich. Weather and other factors can delay the start of a project.

The city applied for and received an Industrial Access Grant from the Alabama Department of Transportation to widen Sanderfer, Rich said.

On Monday, the council authorized the mayor to enter into an agreement with Morell Engineering of Athens to provide construction, engineering and inspection services for the project at a cost of $109,773.

Council members also agreed to enter into a construction contract with Reed Contracting to widen the road at a cost of $731,819. The project is expected to take 45 working days, Rich said. 

The city agreed last May to buy the 60-acre Woodland Golf Course for $1 million and use 5 of the 60 acres to relocate Jimmy Gill Park. Toyota Boshoku will chip in $300,000 for the relocation, and the city will pay the rest. The remaining 55 acres will be used for future industrial development.

Indian Trace Road

Also Monday, the council agreed to pay Grayson Carter & Son Contracting Inc. of Athens not more than $40,000 of the $80,000 project budget to widen Indian Trace Road. The money will come from the city's Capital Infrastructure Project Fund.

"This will give motorists a right- or left-turn movement, plus we will widen Lindsay Lane just south of Indian Trace," Rich said.

The project will be similar to the turn at Pepper Road and Lindsay Lane, he said.

— See Thursday's edition of The News Courier for more on the Athens City Council meeting.

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