Woods Road speed limit lowered

Published 11:39 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell
Residents along Woods Road near Atmore will soon have two reasons to take it slow as they travel to and from their homes.
The Escambia County Commission agreed Monday to reduce the speed limit on Woods Road to 35 mph and set a May 7 date for repair work on the damaged road.
"The residents in the area have signed a petition asking that the speed limit be reduced," said Bill Bridges, county engineer. "They agree that the speed limit should be dropped, and I agree with them. The speed limit should be set at 35 mph."
Woods Road has suffered some damage as a result of excessive traffic by a number of large trucks owned by Viking Industries traveling the road, officials have said.
Viking Industries owner Don Ellistead said his company has worked on a deal with area landowners to create a by-pass for the company to use in order to eliminate further damage to the road.
"We have leases signed and other aspects worked out at this point," Ellistead told the commission. "We should be able to have our alternate route worked out in the very near future."
Bridges asked Ellistead if he thought the work on the alternate route could be completed within two weeks.
"I believe that is fair," Ellistead said. "We should be able to begin using the new route in about two weeks."
Also during Monday's meeting, the commission agreed to proceed with a Community Development Block Grant application through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
The commission was torn between applying for a grant to include road projects and a grant for water system improvements.
"I am concerned that if we apply for a road project grant that we may not get funded," said Todd Williamson, commissioner for District 2. "We applied for a road project grant last year and didn't get the funding. I want to be able to apply for a grant that we have a good chance of getting."
County Administrator Tony Sanks said there is no guarantee that either grant would be approved.
"With the statewide allotment this year being kept at $3 million, that means about $400,000 for Alabama grants," Sanks said. "The competition this year is fierce. There is no guarantee that either application would be approved."
Larry White, commissioner for District 3, said he thought the road project would be the best application to make.
"I prefer that we apply for the road project grant," White said. "Since we applied for the road project grant last year and didn't get the funding, I think we have a good chance of being approved on that grant this year. I think we should apply and take our chances and see if we could get the road projects funded."
The water projects targeted for the coming year include the Freemanville and Canoe Water Systems. In a previous meeting, commissioners said the two systems both are in need of improvements. Those systems fall in the District 4 and District 5 areas that are served by Bill Brown and Wiley Tait, respectively.
"My concern is where would we be more likely to get funding," Tait said. "We don't have a guarantee of either one. The road projects are very important for this coming year and I recommend that we apply for the grant to benefit our road projects."
White made a motion that the commission apply for a road projects grant with ADECCA with Bill Brown seconding the motion.
The commission has a May 15 deadline to make application with ADECCA on any grant proposal.
In other business, the commission

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