Archived Story

Bethel Rd. to be ready by school new year

Published 12:25pm Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When teachers and students return to the classroom for the 2013-2014, they should see a much improved traffic flow in front of F.E. Burleson Elementary School and the new Hartselle High School.

The City of Hartselle, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Transportation, is putting the Bethel Road improvement project up for bid beginning Monday, with hopes that the project will begin shortly after Memorial Day and be completed shortly before school begins in August.

Mayor Don Hall said that is giving residents living along Bethel Road a reason to cheer. One resident along the road, which currently has a traffic cone in her driveway to prevent drivers from using it as a turnaround, was especially happy about it.

“When I told her that, she gave me a thumbs up,” Hall said. “We need these road improvements as soon as possible and I’m excited that we’re finally about to see it happen.”

Department of Development Director Jeff Johnson said contractors can begin picking up project information on Mon., April 22. A pre-bid meeting will be conducted on May 2 followed by the bid opening on May 9.

If the bids meet project requirements, then the Hartselle City Council could award the bid as early as May 14.

“We’re hoping that the contractor will be able to begin on May 28, the day after Memorial Day,” Johnson said. “The last day of school is May 23, so that the construction won’t take place during the school year.

“The contractor will have 80 days to complete the project and there are 84 days between May 28 and the first day of school.”

The project will cover nearly one mile of roadway on Bethel Road. The road will be widened to three lanes in front of both schools. There will also be right-hand turn lanes for northbound traffic to enter Burleson and the new high school and acceleration lanes for school traffic to re-enter the roadway.

Bethel Street will be widened at the intersection of Bethel Road to three lanes to increase safety.

Stacking turn lanes will be added on southbound Bethel Road at the Main Street intersection to improve traffic flow.

The stacking left turn lane on Main Street eastbound will be doubled in length to keep traffic moving through the intersection.

Roan Road will be widened at the intersection of Main Street to allow school buses to turn on Roan Road.

Johnson said is budgeting about $700,000 for the project.

Hall said the city is using $500,000 in funding from ALDOT to help complete the project.

“After the $500,000, we are responsible for the rest,” Hall said.

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