The Alabama Department of Transportation expects to start paving Sixth Avenue in June, and officials say they aren’t waiting for the city to start its planned $7 million streetscape plan on the northern end of this state road.

Allen Teague, ALDOT Tuscumbia-area pre-construction engineer, said Tuesday at the Decatur-area Metropolitan Planning Organization the work is scheduled to start next month on the $4.5 million resurfacing of Sixth Avenue, between Atkeson Drive Southeast and Hudson Memorial Bridge at the Tennessee River.

“They held the pre-construction today and the contract will start in June,” Teague said. “There are 100 working days in the contract.”

Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling said ALDOT officials know of the proposed plan to beautify Sixth Avenue between the river bridges and Prospect Drive Southeast at Delano Park.

The proposed plan includes changing the center turn lane to limit left turns and adding greenery to improve the looks of this northern entrance into the city. However, the project is still in the design and approval stage.

“We talked with ALDOT about our plans, but they have their timeline and we have ours,” Bowling said. “We’re in the more formal final design phase while they’re ready to go.”

Scott Leach, senior project manager for Garber Construction, said the resurfacing of North Seneca Drive, from Old Alabama 24 to Alabama 20, is expected to start next week. This is a $508,621 contract.

In other business, the MPO approved railroad safety projects on McEntire Lane in Decatur’s police jurisdiction and Tabernacle Road in Hartselle. Both are expected to start this fiscal year, said MPO Director Dewayne Hellums.

The McEntire Lane improvements are projected to cost $6,000, with $5,400 in federal funds and $600 from the state.

“This is in the police jurisdiction but it impacts a lot of our residents,” Bowling said.

Portions of McEntire Lane are already in Southwest Decatur, including the recent annexation of 10.97 acres on which Rich and Amanda Littrell are planning to build a subdivision.

The more extensive improvements to the CSX railroad crossing at Tabernacle Road will cost $340,000, with the state providing a $34,000 match to the federal funds of $306,000.

Hartselle Mayor Randy Garrison said the Tabernacle crossing project is more expensive “because all that’s there now is a yield sign.”

The plan is to upgrade crossing devices, including mast-mounted signals, bells, signs, markings and legends, Hellums said.

Hartselle is also receiving a Transportation Alternative Program grant of $640,000 with the city providing a $160,000 match to add sidewalks along Sparkman, Chestnut and Sycamore streets. The project is scheduled for this fiscal year.

The MPO approved $57,654 in CARES Act federal funding to the North-Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments. The money is to help NARCOG deal with coronavirus pandemic-related expenses.

Teague said the planning for the realignment of Central Parkway and Sandlin Roads on Beltline Road Southwest is “at about 75%," and he hopes to solicit construction bids by the end of September.

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bayne.hughes@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2432. Twitter @DD_BayneHughes.

(1) comment

Clinton Herbert

so we are spending money to pave the area that is going to get ripped up for landscaping? Am I reading that correctly?

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