One thing I love to do on Geek Alabama is do some ALDOT bashing. The state department that is responsible for maintaining our highways has been wasting millions of dollars in the last few years on projects such as U.S. 98 in Mobile County, U.S. 280 in Birmingham, I-20 in East Alabama, I-759 extension in Etowah County, and I-59 in Etowah County among others. It’s no secret some folks over at ALDOT does not like me talking about the bad roads in Alabama. And yes they do want me Nathan Young and Geek Alabama gone forever! But I am not going to stop talking about the bad roads in Alabama. I want to start with the I-59 Etowah County project. It’s been over two years and the project to replace the concrete is still not done! Last weekend I went up to view the progress. The bridge on south I-59 over U.S. 11 is complete. And the concrete overlay looks like it’s done. But this project should have been completed long ago!
At least the new concrete is better than what it used to be! It’s a shame ALDOT let this road get so bad!
Next I want to talk about the I-759 extension in Gadsden. Recently there was a story in the Gadsden Times talking about the slow progress on this project. The Federal Highway Administration continues to ask ALDOT to look at other possible “avoidance alternates” to the four proposed routes that were introduced at a public meeting eight years ago. The four proposed routes are shown below.
Many officials in Gadsden and Etowah County don’t think they will see this road built-in their lifetimes. The cost of this project, if it was built today would be around $100 million! And currently the funds are not available. FHWA is wanting ALDOT to find a route which does not adversely impact the neighborhood, the historic districts and (the) community in general. This basically means they want a different route. I have proposed a different route which I think would be better. Why not take I-759 behind Gadsden State and connect it to College Parkway. The 4-lane that ends at a chicken plant.
While I am on the I-759 talk; I watched traffic at the intersection of I-759 and AL 291 or George Wallace Dr. The two traffic lights needs re-timing badly! One light stays green with no traffic around while traffic on I-759 backs up. Then when they get the green light they only see the Academy light turn red. The backed up traffic then blocks the first intersection. These signals needs to be re-timed!
During Steam Engine Day in Attalla, AL. A police officer had to stop traffic on the green light to allow pedestrians to walk across. The intersection has ped signals but they are not working! Lots of traffic backed up on U.S. 431, U.S. 278 and U.S. 11 because some equipment was not working! I am surprised no one got hit or an accident didn’t occur!
If ALDOT would maintain their roads in the first place I would not be going around and criticizing them. I wish ALDOT would do a better job maintaining roads in Alabama. And believe me; I am not going to stay quiet!