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Beaver Branch Bridge could be closed unless repaired

The Alabama Department of Transportation inspected Beaver Branch Bridge along Mt. Ida Road/County Road 39 and informed Luverne Mayor Joe Rex Sport that the bridge would have to either be repaired or the road would be closed, according to city engineer Morris Tate.

Tate reported his findings at the May 11 Luverne City Council meeting. In the meantime, the city is trying to get federal funds to replace the bridge.

“We’ve got an application in for federal stimulus monies, but our unemployment rate is not high enough,” Tate said at Monday’s council meeting. “Since that money is meant to create jobs and our unemployment rate is low, we probably won’t get any.”

Tate said that he had talked with Rep. Charles Newton about possibly getting some funds for the bridge replacement project through ADECA, but that was not a definite thing as yet.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) which is administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is for the amount of $500,000. The city council passed a resolution approving the application for this ADECA grant at a special-called meeting on May 28. Within this resolution, the city of Luverne would not have any matching funds for this grant, if it is approved.

Tate also said that he had been working with Susan Monroe of Roth, McHugh & Associates regarding the grant for the bridge replacement.

“If we don’t get the funds to replace the bridge, we’ll have to close it in 90 days,” Tate said.