FLORENCE — Work could begin in early 2013 on a Lauderdale County bridge project that will be funded with federal money, officials said.
The County Commission approved entering into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation to receive more than $350,000 for repairs on the bridge over Anderson Creek. Funds are from the state Transportation Rehabilitation Improvement Program, or ATRIP.
The program provides funding for projects through the Alabama Department of Transportation. Counties are required to supply 20 percent in matching money.
Commissioners agreed in May to have Lauderdale County Engineer Ken Allamel submit plans and apply for the federal funding. Allamel said the cost of repairs to the bridge, which is east of Rogersville on Lauderdale 70, is estimated at $443,690.
The county's part of the project is $88,738.
The commission acted on the resolution at its meeting Wednesday after hearing that the project had been approved.
"The reason for acting on this now is to get it to the state as quickly as we can so it can be sent out for bids," Commissioner Larry Irons said. "We don't want to wait around and take a chance on losing any money."
Allamel said the project is expected to be added to other projects that will be put out for bids in December.
"If everything goes well, we could have a contractor in place early next year and see the work begin," he said.
Allamel said the bridge is about 200 feet long.
"The pylon are steel and beginning to rust," he said. "The work will include encasing them in concrete, which will make them stronger and last longer."
He said if the work is not done and the bridge continues to deteriorate, it would cost at least $3 million to replace.
"We need to take care of the problem now, not wait for it to get worse," Allamel said.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.