Four-lane hearing set

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006

By By KERRY WHIPPLE BEAN – publisher
Plans for a four-lane route from Brewton to Interstate 65 may finally be getting under way.
Alabama Department of Transportation officials have scheduled an Aug. 17 public hearing on future plans for Alabama Highway 41, Mayor Ted Jennings said Tuesday.
The hearing will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at T.R. Miller High School. The public will have an opportunity to see and comment on the future of the road, said ALDOT District Engineer Ronnie Poiroux.
Those plans could include widening and adding lanes to the road, he said. The public will also be able to comment on whether to straighten the road.
But Jennings said four-laning Brewton's closest link to the interstate would provide several advantages, Jennings said.
The route would also provide a better evacuation route for part of the Florida panhandle, Jennings said.
He pointed out that some Florida residents would not be able to use Highway 113 - which runs through Flomaton from Florida to I-65 - if bridges in Pensacola were destroyed by a storm.
Jennings said Florida has already begun work on the four-laning in that state, widening the highway from Milton to Navarre.
The Alabama project, if it includes a bypass around Brewton, has been estimated at $150 million. Alabama officials sought funding for the project from Congress this year.
But money for four-laning Alabama 113 from Flomaton to I-65 could come soon. That project, estimated at $25 million, has received $20 million in funding pledged by Gov. Bob Riley, $500,000 each from Flomaton and Escambia County, Ala., and $1 million from Escambia County, Fla. County officials in Florida told The Press-Register they are seeking funds from FEMA to make up the difference.