I-20 construction seems continuous, but for Calhoun County residents, those road crews soon will be working closer to home.
A $55 million I-20 stimulus project starts this month in St. Clair County. That nearly nine-mile project will run from Moody to Riverside and will include bridge updates and two additional lanes.
Also, the state Transportation Department plans to award a contract for a Calhoun County interstate project in spring 2010, spokeswoman Rebecca Leigh White said. That $8 million project will resurface I-20 from exit 188 in Golden Springs to the Cleburne County line.
White said another Calhoun County project is in the works, but not guaranteed. The Alabama Department of Transportation is trying to get more stimulus money to widen I-20 and replace the bridges between mile markers 182 and 186. That stretch includes exit 185, the interchange with Alabama 21.
"We're very hopeful for this and we know it's something Calhoun County residents want," White said.
ALDOT officials are trying for a piece of the $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funds that went along with the stimulus package passed earlier this year. Those grants are meant for capital investments in roads that have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or a region, according to the Federal Highway Administration's Web site.
White said ALDOT won't know if the project is funded through federal grant money until early next year. It's tentatively scheduled for February when the state begins accepting bids for the project.
Stimulus projects are designed to pump money into local economies and create jobs. That's what officials from Wright Brothers Construction Co., of Charleston, Tenn, said they'll do with the St. Clair County job. That company got the contract for the project, but officials said in a written statement they plan to use Alabama companies for subcontracting work. They also said the project could generate about 100 new jobs in the Birmingham area.
Efforts to reach Wright representatives on Monday failed.
Calhoun County already is receiving $29.3 million in stimulus money for the completion of the Eastern Parkway. That road will connect I-20 at Golden Springs with McClellan and Alabama 21 north of downtown Anniston. Work on that section of the road is scheduled to begin this month.