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Stimulus funds will foot bill for road work

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A multi-billion federal transportation stimulus package will make itself felt in Hartselle this summer with an upgrade of Highway 36 from Highway 31 to I-65.
The 2.4 mile stretch of road will be milled and widened by two feet where applicable, resurfaced in it entirety and re-stripped. The estimated cost is $1.06 million .The project will be subject to a bid letting in April and construction will take place during the summer.
Funding for the Highway 36 upgrade comes from an appropriation of $85.4 million to the state. In all, the state is expected to receive $417 million in transportation stimulus funds. In addition to roads, the package includes $15.4 million for other highway-related projects such as sidewalks and streetlights.
The widening of Highway 31 section will apply only in areas where additional base is not required, according to Johnny Harris, Division I engineer, Alabama Department of Transportation.
The project is scheduled to be put out for bids on April 10.
Harris a said it usually takes from six to eight weeks for a contract to be awarded.
The city will also be receiving some $263,551 through the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s appropriation from the stimulus package.
The money will be used to resurface Sparkman Street from Highway 31 north to Five Points and Hayes Street from Five Points to Highway 31 South. Stipulations attached to the money require it to be used on principal arteries or collector roads.
The city is also required to follow all state and federal road procedures for the resurfacing project, including having an contractor handle the planning, something the city normally would do in-house. These stipulations will increase the cost some 25 percent more than a traditional project.