The district with the fewest miles on the county plan has the largest 2021 project in Limestone County through Rebuild Alabama, improving one of the most traveled roads in that part of the county.
New Cut Road, from Blackburn Road to U.S. 72, is a nearly 6-mile improvement project that accounts for almost as much as the three other projects combined. District 4 Commissioner LaDon Townsend said once finished, it'll be huge for residents in the district, many of whom use the route to get from the Clements area to north Athens.
As part of the Rebuild Alabama plan, county crews are replacing cross drains and alleviating water issues along the road, as well as clipping edges, leveling and handling patchwork. The county and state have also arranged for the intersection of New Cut and U.S. 72 to be widened, allowing school buses, large trucks and other vehicles to better turn off the highway.
Townsend said he's heard several drivers report running off the edge of the road or having to turn across both lanes because the intersection in its current condition was so narrow.
All of the work being done along New Cut Road right now is by county crews, he said, with a contractor set to take over the project once the road is ready for the final layer.
"Because of Rebuild Alabama, so much of it has to be done by contracting," Townsend explained, adding it "100% would not be possible" if it weren't for Rebuild Alabama. The Rebuild Alabama Act was passed in 2019 and requires the Alabama Department of Transportation to set aside $10 million of the state's share of the gas tax revenue for projects at the local level.
In Limestone County, commissioners approved resurfacing and traffic striping on three other roads, providing each district with a project using the Rebuild funds. They include 1.78 miles of Black Road, from the Interstate 65 bridge to Holt Road, in District 1; 1.32 miles of Newby Road, from Gray Road to U.S. 72, in District 2; and 2.07 miles of Snake Road, from Fielding Road to Shaw Road, in District 3.
Total, that leaves Districts 1–4 in 2021 with 8.53 miles, 6.66 miles, 9.63 miles and 8.07 miles of planned road improvement projects, respectively, not counting road projects funded through grants or other means.