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Hartselle plans to pave Bethel Road in 2 phases

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com 340-2469

HARTSELLE — If you reside on the 1.5-mile stretch of Bethel Road in the city limits here, your bumpy riding days will soon end.

A City Council majority has agreed to resurface the road beginning as soon as early October.

"We didn't have this project in our plans, but the county has asked us to partner with them," Mayor Dwight Tankersley said before Monday's council work session.

District 2 Morgan County Commissioner Ken Livingston is paving the road to the Hartselle city limits. From here, the city will pay the estimated $101,033 to resurface the road to Main Street.

Hartselle will use $86,000 in state capital improvement funds that can be spent only for long-term infrastructure. An additional $15,000 will probably come from the General Fund, Tankersley said.

Because F.E. Burleson Elementary School is on Bethel Road, the mayor said, Hartselle will divide the project into two phases.

Phase 1 will cover about one-half mile from the city limits to the curve in the road near Bethel Baptist Church. Tankersley said Hartselle will do the second phase when school is out.

"It's very difficult to work around school traffic, and I hate to disrupt this traffic," the mayor said.

Delay other projects?

Councilman Bill Drake questioned whether the city would have to delay other paving projects.

"No, sir," Public Works Director Byron Turney said.

"Are there other rougher roads in the city?" Drake asked.

"I only know of one other street, and hopefully it will be on my list next year," Turney said.

"I ride the road every day and I know what it's like," Councilman Bill Smelser said.

"It's getting rougher every day," Councilman Samie Wiley said about Bethel Road.

For almost two years, Council President Kenny Thompson has lobbied the council to pave more streets.

In 2005, the city spent $104,000 repairing or resurfacing 12 streets and $142,000 to widen and resurface Garner Road.

One reason for paving delays has been the city's attempt to coordinate paving projects with Hartselle Utilities.

The council said it doesn't want to pave a street only to have HU cut it while making sewer or water line upgrades.

Bethel Road has a sewer line running down the middle and 12 manholes.

Tankersley said part of the cost of the project involves raising those manholes before putting down asphalt.

This will be the second time this year for Hartselle and the county to partner on a road project.

In July, county officials provided heavy moving equipment as Hartselle resurfaced Foote Road, a narrow road that had been in need of repairs for almost 10 years.

"Foote is now one of the best roads in Hartselle," Tankersley said.

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