Culver Road culvert installation almost done in Falkville

Charley Gaines

Hartselle Enquirer

 

There’s an end in sight for Falkville residents who have been without a main roadway leading into integral parts of the town for months.

Morgan County Commissioner Don Stisher predicts residents will be able to turn onto Culver Road from I-55 again soon as crews finish the culvert that has been replaced where Painters Branch runs under the road. Stisher said that area should be open for passage by the end of July or at the beginning of August.

Bids for the project started at the beginning of 2015 after Falkville got a Community Development Block Grant. Miller & Miller out of Huntsville got the bid totaling $198,868 to work on the project April 8 of this year, and workmen have been tearing up and rebuilding the road and culvert since May or June, according to Stisher.

“One of the reasons [the road] needed to be repaired was because it was inadequate,” said Stisher as he drove around the area laying out the project’s progress. “The old culvert had aged, and it was restricting the creek drainage from flowing through there, so the road was flooding every time we got a pretty good rain.” An example, Stisher said, would have been around Christmas when North Alabama got heavy rains and parts of Falkville saw at least a foot of flooding on Culver Road.

After a brief delay by FEMA flood surveys, Falkville got the approval for the larger replacement culvert. The concerns were over larger culverts allowing uneven water distribution to other areas, but Stisher got the “OK” to used personnel and equipment to construct a concrete culvert to replace the old aluminum one.

At the Falkville Town Council meeting Tues., July 5, the council also moved forward with other plans for construction in the area. The council agreed to purchase two acres on the Holmes property on the right side of Buster Road, which runs parallel to Culver Road. Stisher said phase two of the reconstruction in that area is to realign Buster Road, allowing truck traffic to have easy access to the Love’s gas station on the opposite side of I-55. Right now, 18-wheelers exiting Buster Road regularly throughout the day have to turn right onto I-55 and immediately take a sharp left into the gas station, causing major issues for drivers in trucks and otherwise. The plans for Buster Road include building another culvert on the Holmes land to keep water flowing through the area and constructing another branch off of Buster Road so that traffic has a straight shot across the interstate.

“We’ve addressed the flooding issues and improved them tremendously within the past six years by addressing culverts on Culver and Buster Roads,” said Stisher. “We’re preparing Falkville to make it a more attractive place for businesses and residents. We want the infrastructure to serve our residents.”

Stisher said the ultimate goals for both road projects are to help stop flooding throughout all of Falkville and to entice businesses to come to the area. He didn’t have an exact timeline for the Buster Road construction, but the Holmes land purchase got the ball rolling for this new stage in the town’s progress.

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