U.S. 411 Construction Included

Wed February 13, 2008 - Southeast Edition
CEG



GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) State transportation officials will include the four-laning of U.S. Highway 411 from Gadsden to Turkeytown in a Feb. 29 bid opening for the construction project.

The Alabama Department of Transportation informed the Gadsden/Etowah Metropolitan Planning Organization of its plans Jan. 10.

Gadsden City Council member J.R. Countryman had pressed ALDOT for a timetable to remove homes bought by the state on the new route of U.S. 411.

Curtis Vincent, assistant division engineer for the area that includes Etowah County, said clearing and grubbing would be one of the first orders of work when the contractor begins.

If the contract is awarded in February, he said, work could begin within several months or early summer.

Countryman said the houses awaiting demolition are decaying and some have been broken into, prompting complaints from residents.

Vincent said ALDOT has heard complaints about people living in the structures. He said workers have checked but not found anyone living in them.

“We want to get it cleaned up as soon as we can,” Vincent said.

Meanwhile, Vincent said the repaving of U.S. 411 from the St. Clair County line to Whites Creek Bridge will be bid in March and that plans are being prepared.

Regarding the extension of Interstate 759 from George Wallace Drive to U.S. Highways 278/431, Vincent said ALDOT is responding to the Federal Highway Administration’s environmental concerns about noise and the interchange at George Wallace Drive being in the flood plain.

Division engineer Johnny Harris said some of the readings of noise in the neighborhood were higher than what federal officials had projected the elevated highway would cause. He said the federal agency wants the state to go back and check its data.

Harris said those issues will have to be resolved before the project can continue.

On another project, the five-laning of Alabama Highway 77 from Steele Station Road to Interstate 59, Vincent said offers have been made to purchase all the parcels of land, except for three. He said those offers should be made in the next couple of weeks.

He said the project involves buying 45 parcels.