Chambers County continues to make improvements to county roads

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2019

LaFAYETTE — The Chambers County Commission is continuing to take steps to make roads in the county safe to travel.

Chambers County Engineer Josh Harvill announced Monday night at the commission’s regular meeting that he secured a federal grant to improve conditions along two curves on County Road 83.

The grant was worth $169,828,65 through the High-Risk Rural Roads program at the federal level to improve super-elevation on County Road 83 about 3.6 miles south of Highway 50 — just north of the access to the Chambers County Lake.

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Harvill said the county had to provide a 10 percent match to qualify for the grant.

“This was a competitive program based on safety programs set aside for rural areas where accidents are prevalent,” he said. “We have already put up signs telling drivers to be cautious. This is the second part of our improvements to travel those roads safely.”

He said Chambers County was one of several counties in the state that obtained the grant, but it was something rural counties continue to fight for in Washington.

“You all know the danger of driving a rural road where it isn’t well-lit,” he said. “It can easily be put somebody else if we aren’t there advocating for it.”

Additionally, the commission awarded several contracts to agencies Monday night to improve everyday travel on county roads.

A contract was given to Chris Clark Grading and Paving Inc., for paving of several county roads. Harvill said an amount was not set in the bid because it provides the county with more flexibility as to what needs to be done. In the bid documents, it does have set prices for the product used on the roads, and it is determined by the number of tons used.

Similar contracts were awarded to Hornsby Striping Company for marking and striping country roads, and Charles E. Watts. Inc., for surface treatment on the streets.

“That’s one of the good things that came out of our transportation plan is when the commission decided to make a fiscally responsible effort every year to budget to just striping and marking our roads,” he said.

Harvill said the county started spending tens of thousands of dollars each year just striping and marking the county roads, and it has made a significant improvement for those driving at night.

Commissioner Charlie Williams said it makes a difference for those driving in Chambers County.

“It puts your mind at ease because you know exactly where you are on the road,” he said. “Lighting and striping is really an advantage that we have.”

Lastly, the commission entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Lanett to provide more signage for Phillips Road off I-85 and near Highway 50. The terms of the deal have the county paying for the signs and the city of Lanett providing the labor and equipment to do the installation.

“These signs are needed for a multitude of reasons,” Harvill said. “The main one is that there was a complaint brought to the county through the development authority about not being able to find Phillips Road.”

He said after surveying the area, it was determined more signage would be the best way to solve the problem. The agreement between the city and the county would result in six signs. Two of the signs would be at Highway 50 and Veterans Memorial Parkway and the other signs would be at each off-ramp at exit 77.

Harvill said the signs would be 24 inches tall and 76 inches wide, which would be larger than the typical street sign, illuminated and bigger than the average street sign. He said the original proposed cost of the sign was $13,409, but it will most likely be less because the first proposal had the signs as double-sided, which is no longer the case.