County begins contruction on Garnersville Road

Published 10:22 am Thursday, March 23, 2017

More than two years post getting the grant to begin paving Garnersville Road, construction has began. The 1.6 miles of the two mile road will be paved. The commencement of this project frees the county to begin work on other projects that requires repairs as well. Journal Photo/Shayla Terry

By: Shayla Terry

Two years after being approved for a Community Development and Block Grant for the pavement of Garnersville Road, construction began last week on the project.

The $350,000 grant, given through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, provides that 1.6 miles of the road be paved, as well as the placement of fire hydrants, and upgrades in water lines.

“It has been a long process,” Crenshaw County Commission Chairman Charlie Sankey, Jr. said. “I feel good about this project being able to go through. I have had a lot of good comments from citizens, who thought the process might not come to fruition.”

In order to begin the project, land had to be acquired from citizens to create a right-of-way.

The state of Alabama requires that right-of-ways be 80 feet wide, and the current road conditions of Garnesrville Road are short of the mark.

The county ran into trouble when citizens did not readily give up the land for the pavement of the road. 31 tracks of land needed to be acquired before construction could begin. Today, all but two tracks have been attained.

“The two tracks of land remaining are towards the end of the paving,” Sankey said. “So, we had enough leeway to start. We are still working on attaining those tracks.”

Attaining the tracks was a joint venture between Crenshaw County Engineer Benjamin Sanders, County Commission Attorney Levi Nichols and Sankey. The trio repeatedly met with landowners both in county, and out of state, to secure tracks.

“We have worked diligently,” Sankey said. “Thanks to a lot of people — our engineer, our attorney, and the citizens. Without the citizens of Garnersville Road, we could not have done it. It’s been a lot of folks working very hard.”

Under the Trump admiration, CDBG projects could be completely banished, a concern for Crenshaw County.

“We hope that’s not the case,” Sankey said. “That probably means that Crenshaw County will have a hard time getting anymore paving projects unless there is another governmental aid project that will come through for block grants.”

The last four roads in Crenshaw County were funded through CDBG grants.