By Ethan Van Sice
Re-surfacing a notoriously problematic road in Wilcox County will cost an estimated $1,233,592.68, according to a report delivered by County Engineer Fredrick Powell during Monday night’s County Commisioners meeting.
Frustrated citizens have long been awaiting developments to commence on County Road 27, a 5-mile stretch of treachery that has generated multiple lawsuits in the past.
$1.2 million dollars is a pretty hefty drop in the bucket, but according to Powell, supplemental funding for the project is available.
“80% of that cost is going to come from our federal funds,” says Powell, “which you know, we have quite a bit of federal funds.”
Also too, “ALDOT, out of their State and Local Road and Bridge Fund, has gifted us $150,000 to match the remaining 20%”.
Mr. Powell has calculated that the County would end up contributing $96,718.54.
Work on CR 27, and the bridge that’s been deemed as a hazard in need of steel-beam reinforcements residing on it, should begin in about a month.
Commissioner Moton attempted to educate those on the commission who were questioning such an expensive venture.
“These costs will be directly tied into the gas tax,” says Moton, referring to a hike that could be passed by legislation next year, “we don’t have those kind of funds, and when you don’t have those funds it puts projects on hold.”
Moton says the gas tax could generate more than $800,000 a year to be spent on roads and bridges.
Powell says ALDOT has also agreed to supplement another project, County Road 18, with $150,000.