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County approves paved shoulder for several roadways

At Monday’s meeting, the Chambers County Commission approved several resolutions that were related to the High-Risk Rural Roads program.

According to County Engineer Josh Harvill, Chambers County was approved for all three applications it submitted. All three applications were seeking funding to help pay for a 2-foot paved shoulder on each side of several high-volume roads.

In total, there will be 21 paved shoulders on curves. The roads affected will be County Roads 222 and 289, which stretch from Five Points to Lanett, County Roads 388 and 83, which goes from LaFayette to Highway 29, and County Road 299.

“Studies show that really improves the ability of a driver, if they were to come off on a curve, it improves the likelihood they can recover and get back on the road without an accident,” Harvill said. “There was some engineer’s judgment and studies to identify these curves. It’s basically the sharper curves.”

Adding a two-foot paved shoulder is the standard addition to rural roads, according to Harvill.

“We don’t do it consistently. I don’t know of a road in our county that has a paved shoulder from one end of the road to the other,” Harvill said. “We just don’t have those funds to do that.”

The project will be competitively bid out through the Alabama Department of Transportation.

The total cost of the project will be $330,286.35. The grants from the federal government totaled $297,257.72. The commission agreed to match the required 10 percent match, meaning it would pay $33,028.64.

Along with the road announcements, County Commission Chairman Sam Bradford announced that he, along with a couple of other commissioners, were involved in a teleconference with Auburn University to gain interest and information about a new telemedicine project the college is developing.

According to Bradford, the project would be housed in LaFayette. It would provide a station with the ability to speak to a doctor, get their blood pressure taken and weigh themselves among other functions.

This telemedicine project is still in the early stages, so there isn’t much information readily available yet, including cost.

“It’s just a way to bring health care to rural areas, where people can’t drive long distances,” District 6 Representative Debra Riley said. “They might be able to get a ride from a rural area to LaFayette to see a physician there.”

At the end of the meeting, County Attorney Skip McCoy brought up the misspelling of LaFayette on Exit 70 on I-85 southbound. The sign currently reads “Lafayette.” He brought this issue up to Harvill, who said he would reach out to his contacts at  ALDOT to get it fixed.