Shannon Jones, district manager for the Alabama Department of Transportation’s 4th Division, said dirt was being moved, and although the crew isn’t in full operations yet, they should be soon, probably within the next month.
“They’ve been gearing up for about two weeks now,” Jones said. “They are hauling dirt.”
Work on the parkway, which will eventually connect Interstate 20 with U.S. 431 and Alabama 21, unexpectedly stopped in January, when the contractor was declared in default.
The department removed the former contractor, Mississippi-based L&T Construction, from the $29 million grading project on Jan. 17 for working too slowly. At the time, according to ALDOT records, the work was 83 percent complete. L&T was originally scheduled to complete the project on May 13, 2011, according to the records.
The new contractor, W. G. Yates Construction, also based in Mississippi, took over the contract in March. Jones said the percentage of work completed on the project is still about the same.
Jones wasn’t sure of a grading completion date and said he wouldn’t know until the contractor had been working for a month at full productivity.
“We’re hoping things wind up towards the end of this year,” Jones said. “But then we’ll have to come back and let a base-and-pave contract.”
That would push the road’s completion date into 2014.
DeJarvis Leonard, engineer for ALDOT’s 4th Division, has estimated the paving would take 18 months.
Star staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.