Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Munford, District 1 Commissioner Jackie Swinford and county engineer Tim Markert visited one of the road’s connecting points about 200 feet south of Munford Food Mart.
“This project will tie the two main highways together — the four-lane (portion) of Alabama 21 and I-20,” Hurst said. “It’s going to be good for industry and good for our citizens. It helps keep the traffic out of our downtown area. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Hurst discussed the logistical advantages, both for the citizens and for the town.
“People who need to go to doctor’s appointments in Birmingham won’t have to drive all the way to Oxford and cut back,” Hurst said. “We hope if they do that, they’ll stop at the grocery store and put money in the bank — things like that.”
According to Markert, the 1.4-mile road is currently in the design stages following the completion of preliminary engineering made possible by $500,000 in state, federal and local funds.
The project has also passed through the environmental assessment phases and public comment phases, where Swinford noted community feedback was provided and considered.
“A number of the citizens wanted us to bring the road in where the red light is at the intersection of Cedars Road and Alabama 21,” Swinford said. “We did the environmental aspect at the old foundry and we didn’t want to increase the traffic around the school area and post office. We feel like there’s enough traffic there already, so we didn’t want to shift this burden onto that intersection. It’s an opinion we did look into though.”
Markert anticipated the new road, to be built using county and Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program monies, will be completed in 18 months to two years.
“At the end of the day when it’s finished and done, the county will owe no money on it,” Swinford said. “We didn’t have to borrow any money to accomplish this, which is a rarity. We’ve got enough money saved up to do this. We have the money sitting there available, then ATRIP came along and we didn’t have but about $600,000 set aside. This project wouldn’t have been possible without everybody coming together and working towards (this goal).”
Contact Shane Dunaway at firstname.lastname@example.org