The Anniston City Council will be selecting a new name for the Eastern Parkway and the Industrial Access Road at McClellan that will allow commuters to avoid heavy Quintard traffic when coming into McClellan once they open. The Council needs to select the name before the latest leg of the road opens, and today’s council meeting may be its last chance since the council may cancel its second meeting in December.
So far, the city has a few names turned into the city by e-mail and a few the councilmen have come up with themselves. Mayor Gene Robinson said the list of about ten suggestions will have to be whittled down before the meeting.
“I’ll probably take a poll right in between the meetings,” Robinson said. “Maybe we can narrow them down to a few names and then we’ll discuss them and vote. I think we pretty well have to do it this time.”
Councilman Ben Little said he was open to just about any name, but he’d like to stay away from naming it after a person.
“I think a simple name,” Little said. “The main thing is getting the road open, getting some traffic.”
The road had been scheduled to open by the end of the year. However, the cold has held up construction.
“Mainly it’s the temperatures,” said Tony Harris, spokesman for ALDOT. “Below a certain temperature it’s not suitable for asphalt paving.”
There is a small amount of work left to do, and once the weather conditions improve, ALDOT can get in and finish up, he said.
The work at McClellan that will connect the Parkway with the Industrial Access Road, though is nearly finished, Calhoun County engineer Brian Rosenbalm said.
“The work we had was not dependent upon the temperature as much as what ALDOT was doing,” Rosenbalm said. “Really the only thing that we’re lacking now is the guard rail.”
The work at McClellan has been underway for quite some time and the Anniston Public Works Department has funded $93,724 of the work preparing roads for the traffic expected once the Parkway opens, said City Manager Don Hoyt. The department will ask the City Council to reimburse it out of the bond money that was allocated for the aquatic center and infrastructure work at McClellan.
The Parkway, however, was expected to be done ahead of schedule and the work needed to be completed before it opened.
“At the time that needed to be done, the bond wasn’t complete,” Hoyt said. “Now it’s complete.”
So, the department did much of the work internally, contracting out just $25,000 of the work.
“The money that he spent on this project took a big chunk out of Public Works’ budget,” Hoyt said. “If they don’t put it back in with the bond money, that’s almost $100,000 out of Public Works’ budget that was budgeted for other things.”
That means scheduled work in other parts of Anniston would go undone.
Contact staff writer Laura Camper at 256-235-3545.