County making progress on 31 work

Published 9:32 pm Wednesday, June 25, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
By spring 2009, Escambia County will be the proud owner of 1.4 miles of four-lane road, thanks to financial assistance from federal and state funds.
What became a county project in 2003 began as a state project to create a four-lane highway between Brewton and Flomaton.
A June 2003 announcement by ALDOT explained the abandonment of the project by the state. In the announcement, ALDOT officials said the inability to secure rights-of-way on three tracts of land along the route was the reason for the loss of the project.
ALDOT division engineer R.F. Poiroux in 2003 said the reason for the state's loss of the project was directly related to the refusal of the then-probate judge to condemn three parcels of land connected to the project. Although the judge did allow the condemnation of six other parcels, the three parcels not condemned held up, and ultimately killed, any progress on the project. Following that announcement county officials agreed to pursue the completion of the project and began taking action to secure property along the planned route.
The project will create a connection between two portions of U.S. 31 that have already been four-laned spanning from Fannie Road to the CSX overpass near Van Hoosen Road near Flomaton.
W.S. Newell and Sons of Montgomery was awarded the contract for the roadwork and was contracted through ALDOT for the construction and completion of the project.
Bridges said the span of roadway would take several more months to complete.
Bridges said the crews are currently working on a bridge that spans CSX tracks just east of Van Hoosen Road.
After the state lost the project, county commissioners stepped in to make sure the four-laning of the road between Brewton and Flomaton wasn't lost.
The cost of the project is estimated to cost $7,595,088, with funding from federal and state coffers.