DeJarvis Leonard, division engineer for the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Fourth Division, said the current schedule has ALDOT taking bids for the project at the end of the month.
“Currently, it is set for a July 30 letting, which is the date the bids will be taken,” Leonard said.
The bypass connects Alabama 21 to Alabama 77 on the western side of Talladega at the present time. The completion of the bypass would run 275 from 77 around the northern edge of Talladega and connect it back to 21 just south of the Kelly Creek area.
The bypass-completion project was announced in May 2006 but has faced various delays since that time. The delays go back to a lack of available funding.
“We’ve had funding issues with us not having a transportation bill that has limited us in letting a contract,” Leonard said. “Fortunately, we should now have the funds to do the letting in July.”
ALDOT has had two large swaths of gravel in place outlining where the new bypass highway will be for several years but has made little visible progress beyond that.
Getting the paperwork done after the letting should not hold up the work for very long, Leonard said.
“There is typically a 45-day time frame for awarding bids and signing the contract,” Leonard said. “We’re anxious to get started on this. I’d estimate the project should take about 18 months to complete.”
Leonard said he would have to review the plans to see if any stop lights would be placed on the bypass. People have expressed concern about the bypass creating some busy intersections, such as at the Alabama 77 intersection.
Local legislators have expressed interest for years in creating a four-lane route from Oxford to Sylacauga. When the bypass is completed, only the highway between Winterboro and Sylacauga and the highway between Munford and the bypass will still be two lanes.
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