Colbert County seeks road funding from industrial development committee

072514 CO Road Funding 630pm PKG

COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – An intersection in Colbert County is feeling some severe growing pains as an industrial park continues to expand.

The pains are running so deep the Colbert County Commission is looking to industrial recruiters to fund a road expansion.

The question is, are recruiters responsible for road projects?

Orange cones line Wilson Dam Road in Muscle Shoals as crews expand it from two lanes to five lanes.

At the intersection of Sixth Street though, the cones stop and that’s where future road work is planned.

To help alleviate shift traffic from North American Lighting and CBC, engineers want to extend turn lanes to avoid vehicle stacking.

The trouble County Engineer John Bedford and the county commission are facing, getting local funding.

“If we had that crystal ball, we could see the future, and I think the board even admitted it, that if we would have built it at that time it would have been funded,” said Bedford.

A $1.6-million grant has been secured through state and federal funds, and Bedford is now seeking $400,000 as matching funds.

He has met with the Shoals Industrial Development Committee, since he believes the traffic congestion can be tied directly to job creation in the Shoals Industrial Air Park.

Ian Sanford, an SIDC committee member and mayor of Sheffield, tabled a motion by the committee to fund the project until he gets some more answers.

“Does it open up a Pandora’s Box or not? I can’t remember if someone had mentioned maybe just doing it on a case by case basis, which is what we do know,” explained Sanford.

So the question remains, is the development committee responsible for building roads on the back-side of an industrial project?

The Shoals Industrial Development Committee plans to re-address the road funding project in their quarterly meeting in October.

The expansion project falls to Colbert County since the road lies outside of any city limits.

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