Backlogged pavers cause delay on Union Grove road project

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UNION GROVE, Ala. – A large road project is underway in Marshall County but it may not be done for several more months.

District one employees began replacing 14 old and deteriorating road tiles on Union Chapel Road Monday.

“Years ago, they used cement. They tend to break and crack and fall in, you get damaged roads. You use the old galvanized, they rust out and fall out. This double corrugated plastic’s going to be here 200 years. They last a long time,” said District one commissioner Ronny Shumate.

Shumate says once the tile replacement is done, they will wait a few weeks for the gravel to settle.

After that is typically when the pavers come in and do their part.

“I’ve got approximately eight miles of road to pave this year and we’ve got the funding right now to do it, we’re just waiting on the paving company. I hope to get all the county roads paved before the county school system starts back about the second week of August because it’s a pain to try to close the roads with school buses coming through there,” he added.

However, this project likely won’t meet Shumate’s deadline because he says the paving company is backlogged, similar to several other industries right now.

“It’s hard to get material and as we know it’s hard to get workers right now. Everybody’s been staying home drawing money to stay home instead of getting out to work. If you go online and buy something, you used to get everything within two to three days. Now, it’s two to three weeks,” Shumate told News 19.

He says most residents think the county does the paving itself, but they don’t have the equipment or the manpower to do that plus the bush-hogging and tile replacements across the county.

“In ‘19, we put 55 driveway tiles in. In ‘20, we did 160. And now this is 2021 and we’re already at 100 and here it is the middle of June,” he said.

The Union Chapel Road project will cost $575,000 from Rebuild Alabama funds.

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