Baldwin County Commission awards road repair contract

With 20 roads still closed in Baldwin County and many other roads in need of repair, the Baldwin County Commission called a special meeting Thursday, May 1, 2014 to get some additional repairs started. The meeting was to award the low bidder, Asphalt Services, Inc. the contract for three initial projects.

With so many roads closed in Baldwin County, it was imperative that the Commission begin to get some of the roads fixed. Thursday’s approval of the bid was the first step in getting that done. Materials will begin being brought to two sites starting in the morning.

“They’re going to start fixing some of these areas so that we can get some of these roads open so that the public can get in and out of their places,” said Baldwin County Commission Chairman, Charles “Skip” Gruber.

The first two areas that will be addressed are Section St. and Old Battles Rd. in Fairhope and Woerner Road at County Road 87. The Baldwin County Highway Department is continuing to repair numerous other roads throughout the county. The goal is to get as many areas safe and passable as soon as possible.

“They’re going to be putting material in places that have washed out where they can easily and quickly without having to replace a pipe or utilities,” said Baldwin County Engineer Cal Markert. “We’re evaluating and putting together other bids for more larger sites that need more detailed work.”

Those bids will be voted on and awarded Tuesday, May 6. For now the county is footing the bill, but is hopeful that it will be reimbursed if the federal government declares the area a disaster. Repairs to roads that are completely gone can be complicated and expensive and Markert wants to upgrade the drainage in all of those areas.

“We’ve had a 50 year storm approximately three weeks ago.  Last week we had a 100 year event and we just had 22 inches which I don’t know even what that means, but we’ve just got to have more capacity to handle the storm water so that the next time this happens it won’t be as bad,” Markert said.

Patience will be needed because officials said it will take weeks and even months in some cases for all of the problems to be addressed. As progress is made and roads begin to re-open, we’ll keep you updated.

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