ASBURY, Ala. – Marshall County’s largest county project to date is officially done, commemorated by State and local officials Tuesday morning.
A stretch of Martling Road morphed into two one-lane bridges, and then expanded back to its regular two-lane stretch. For as long as most people who took that route can remember, that’s the way it was. The busy stretch is in Marshall County near the Asbury and Martling communities.
After years of discussion, crews started work on a new bridge in 2015. Governor Robert Bentley commemorated the start.
The work is done now. Tuesday morning, State and local officials spoke about the culmination of the project that was discussed for years. “I’ve lived in Marshall County all of my life and ever since I was a kid they’ve talked about replacing this bridge here,” Marshall County Commission Chairman James Hutcheson said, “So I’m very excited for the county, especially this community. It’s a great day for people in Marshall County.”
“The ATRIP program funded 80 percent. That’s Governor Bentley’s program for rural roads, and the county matched that, and we were able to get the bridge done,” said Director of the Alabama Department of Transportation, John Cooper.
After years of discussion, crews started work on the new bridge in 2015. “This is going to have an impact on this whole area up here as far as the school busses, the industrial development. It’s just going to have a major impact on this area,” Hutcheson said.
“It is a big day, and it’s a day many people thought they never would see,” Cooper added.
With a new bridge comes new opportunities. “You could not get a major truck through there. The poultry trucks, they can’t make that turn. It was a very big impediment to the poultry farms that are out in that area,” Marshall County Economic Development Council President Matt Arnold explained.
Arnold adds the new bridge, dubbed Redmill Bridge by Commissioner Jesse Swords, changes that. “There are a lot of poultry farms out there and they had to go a longer distance around that spot, and now they’ll be able to just cut right through, right across the bridge,” Arnold said.
Arnold said the new bridge will save time in transportation and open new doors for the area. “In that part of the county there is a lot of available land,” Arnold explained, “I could see some industries going out there at some point.”
Officials said that when infrastructure develops, so does growth. “It’s the simple fact when you have infrastructure that is built-in a community, commerce tends to follow it,” Arnold said.
The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Redmill Bridge was held at the Martling Senior Center property, which overlooks the new bridge on Martling Road.