191023 CONSTRUCTION2

Contractors are widening shoulders along a portion of Frankfort Road in Colbert County, which is in the midst of a major paving project.[CAROLINE OGLESBY/TIMESDAILY]

TUSCUMBIA — A Colbert County commissioner said it's the taxpayers who are paving more than 60 miles of county roads, not the county commission.

The contractor working on the county's ambitious paving project, which is funded by future revenue generated by the state's new 10 cent fuel tax, has competed its work in District Six Commissioner Charlie Hovater's District.

"We've finished with the west end and we're now in the middle district," County Engineer John Bedford said. "We're showing what we told the public we would do for the money."

A complete list of the roads can be found on the Colbert County website, colbertcounty.org. State law requires local governments to post the details of how the fuel tax revenue will be spent and which roads or streets that will be resurfaced.

Bedford said District Six, the largest commission district in the county, could have as many road miles as the rest of the county. The Colbert County Road Department is responsible for maintaining about 650 miles of roads.

Hovater said the Rogers Group has resurfaced portions of Mount Hester Road, White Pike, North Pike, Daniels Street, Sixth Street and are now working on Frankfort Road.

"We're utilizing taxpayer money, so it's actually not us doing it, it's the taxpayers getting more bang for their buck," Hovater said.

Because they committed to paving more than 60 miles of roads, the county was able to get a reduced price on the blacktop asphalt.

Bedford said he and Assistant County Engineer Jeremy Robison worked with the contractor to create a more durable asphalt mix that should last 13-15 years.

"This will be one of the first times the commission can say there will be a round two, a round three, a round four and so on," Bedford said.

The Road Department and commission wanted to get the most traveled roads resurfaced first. Less traveled roads can be addressed in future paving operations. The current paving project will resurface almost 10 percent of the county's roads.

"We're getting around 17 miles in my district," District Five Commissioner Darol Bendall said. "That's about a 10th of our mileage."

Among the roads slated to be resurfaced are Three Mile Lane, LaGrange Road and roads near Colbert Heights High School, which is a high traffic area.

"We're using the money the best we can and getting the highest traffic areas as we can," Bendall said.

He said the Road Department has also been applying a chip seal coating to some roads in District Five. 

In 2022, the county will have another large paving project funded primarily through the Shoals Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Bedford said he hopes the paving project can be finished this year. 

russ.corey@timesdaily.com

or 256-740-5738. Twitter

@TD_.RussCorey

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