Busy road closes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2001

State replacing 70-year-old bridge

By now, most people who travel from Greenville south have noticed that the "Cotton Mill Village" bridge is closed to traffic. That is because the State of Alabama is going to replace the 70-year-old structure.

Officials from the Alabama Department of Transportation are working with a private contractor, in cooperation with CSX Railroad, to remove the old span, and to build a new one in it's place.

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"The old bridge, built in 1931, is only 26 feet in width," said Jimmy Davis, project engineer for the D.O.T. "The new structure, when completed, will be 42 feet wide. It will still be a two-lane bridge, but it will have two eight-foot-wide shoulders, one on either side."

Davis said it probably would take workers 30 days to remove the old bridge, before work can begin on a new one.

"This project is scheduled for 200 working days," Davis said. "It should be completed in that time, barring any major setbacks."

Clark Construction is performing the work. The prime contractor is based out of it's headquarters located in Headland, Ala.

"We hope to have the project completed by January, 2002," Davis said.

Motorists are reminded to used caution, and plan ahead when traveling southward from town.

The detour, which requires traffic to turn eastward on Commerce Street, and travel down Bolling Street to Aztec Road, will be a main thoroughfare while the bridgework is being performed.

"We want to remind the motoring public that they need to be very careful when they approach the intersection of West Commerce Street and Bolling Street," said Police Chief Lonzo Ingram. "There is not a traffic light at that intersection, and it can get congested at certain times."

Ingram also said that there is a difference in speed limits.

"While the speed limit on Aztec Road through that area is 35 miles per hour, the speed limit coming into the downtown area and on Bolling Street (a residential zone) is only 25 miles per hour."

Ingram said that there is more pedestrian traffic to look out for, and like always, there is the fact that the railroad underpass has a low overhead clearance.

"Several school bus routes have been changed," said Lloyd Robinson, Butler County school bus superintendent. "Our buses have had to make detours in their routes, which brings more of them into the downtown area; to travel down Bolling Street-motorists should be aware of these changes, and look out for the buses."