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Council OKs firm to design proposed road

By Evan Belanger 340-2442

A project to make traffic flow more easily in Southwest Decatur came one step closer to fruition Monday.

The Decatur City Council unanimously approved a measure to hire CDG Engineers and Associates of Birmingham to design a road proposed for construction near Jack Allen Park. The contract comes at a cost of $125,780 with a $23,500 option for CDG to design decorative landscaping as well.

Preliminary designs, according to the city's Planning Department, call for the two-mile collector street to sprout north from Modaus Road, starting about 500 yards east of Jack Allen Park. The street is expected to head north through what is currently private property, connecting with the east end of Jack Allen Park and eventually linking with Auburn Drive.

According to City Engineer Mark Petersohn, officials are still negotiating with property owners for land acquisition. He said he did not know when construction would start or how much the total project might cost.

Decatur Chief Financial Officer Gail Busbey said funding for the project likely will come from a $2 million bond issue approved by the City Council in 2006. The project is a planned expense in the city's capital budget.

While the City Council has yet to choose a name for the road, one family owning property in the proposed route has requested it be named for their deceased relative Judge James Crow Jr. In return, the Crow family will donate the right of way to the city.

Crow served as a county judge from 1940 to 1945 and as a circuit court judge from 1945 to the mid-'50s.

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