Lawrence County roads to go back to gravel this summer

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MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) -  Lawrence County leaders rely on gas and oil tax dollars for road maintenance, but gravel roads are making a comeback that no one really wants.

A number of roads are due for repaving this summer.

Problem is, the cost of materials have gone up 300% and revenue for road maintenance has flatlined since the early 1990s, according to county engineer Ben Duncan.

So, their hands are tied and tillers will be coming in to turn currently paved roads into gravel in the coming months.

"When a road comes to the point where it's not safe, and there is no money there to resurface them, then our only option is to reclaim that road back to a gravel road," Duncan explained. 

He says  the county road department has a $2 million dollar budget to maintain 900 miles of road.

A third of county roads are due for service:

  • 95 roads are in serious to poor condition
  • 8 roads are in critical condition (could become unsafe for travel very soon)

While gravel is easier and cheaper to maintain, the ideal is to maintain asphalt roads. In fact, it will cost more to change a gravel road back to asphalt.

Duncan explains that a drop in material costs or rise in revenue would prompt the department to look into a long-term resurfacing plan.