County seeking to reclassify roadways

Published 4:17 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Officials with Butler County are seeking to get two roadways reclassified as major collectors.

Butler County Engineer Dennis McCall said on Monday that the county would submit paperwork to the Alabama Department of Transportation in an effort to get the minor collector classification of County Road 37 and County Road 54 changed to that of major collectors.

In order to be classified as a major collector, a roadway must serve 500 vehicles a day.

Email newsletter signup

“The traffic counts for these roads is very near that of a major collector,” McCall said.

According to Butler County Commissioner Jerry Hartin, the last time a traffic count was done, County Road 37 was five vehicles short of meeting the requirements of a major collector.

Reclassification to a major collector would enable to the county to seek federal money to help offset the costs of road maintenance on those roadways.

“Federal funds are reserved for major collector roads. Major collectors receive a higher degree of traffic,” McCall said.

“Minor collector roads are not eligible for these federal funds, and have to be paid for with 100 percent local funds.

“Obviously, that limits what we can do, and that’s a real concern for being able to do work other than routine maintenance.”

Approximately 200 miles out of the county’s 550 miles of road are classified as major collector roads.

Hartin said he and the Butler County Commission have been working for eight years to get County Road 37 reclassified.

“It’s right there at the traffic count, and if we can just get it recognized as a major collector we can finally get some money to widen and resurface the road,” he said. “In the eight years we’ve been working on this, this is the closest we have come.”

Commissioner Frank Hickman supported working toward getting the two roads reclassified, but cautioned that adding more miles of major collectors to the county’s total would further dilute the amount of funds available for roadwork in the county.

“It’s going to impact all the roads in the county,” he said.

“Roads that we have been able to use this money to maintain on a fairly regular basis may not get attention as frequently as they have in the past.”

Hickman also said that he lobbied for County Road 65 to be reclassified, but that it fell short of the necessary traffic count.

“I would have liked to have seen County Road 65 classified as a major collector, but I’m pleased that we have an opportunity to possibly get these other two roads classified as major collectors, and potentially get some federal funds to do some much-needed work on them.”