New bridge underway for Jack Springs Road
By By Arthur McLean Managing Editor
Traveler planning to hit I-65 by taking Jack Springs Road must take a detour now that work has begun replacing the Brushy Creek Bridge.
Work began on replacing the old bridge Jan. 15, said Bill Bridges, assistant county engineer for the Alabama DOT. The old bridge has since been completely removed.
The old weight rating for the bridge was five tons, though heavy trucks were known to traverse despite the warning.
Construction on the new bridge is expected to be completed by the end of March, weather permitting. It will have no weight restrictions when completed, Bridges said.
The Brushy Creek project is part of $3.25 million in bond money the county received for replacing old bridges.
The state legislature issued a Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bond in 2000 to allocate $3.25 million to each county in Alabama for the repair and replacement of bridges over a five-year period.
One condition of the bond is that all of the money must be assigned to specific bridge projects by November 2005.
"We'll have no problem using the money by then. We'll have all of ours obligated this year," said county engineer John Downing.
Work on five bridges has been completed already. The finished bridges are the Narrow Gap Creek bridge on County Rd. 18, the Little River bridge on Presswood Rd., the Bowler Mill Creek bridge on County Rd. 43, the Amos Mill Creek bridge on County Rd. 43 and the Jernigan Creek bridge on old Hwy. 31.
The Murder Creek Bridge in Kirkland is planned for construction soon.
After the GARVEE bond project ends, there will still be weight limits on 25 to 30 structures in the county. A new bond, if approved by the legislature, would cover the repair and replacement of those bridges, Downing said.
"This program has been a success statewide. We're hoping the legislature sees that it's been a good thing and extends the project," said Downing.