Construction to widen Lenlock Lane at the Saks Road intersection should get into full swing by the beginning of next week, said Jeff Clendenning, a Calhoun County surveyor and project engineer.
The $1.28 million project was delayed by weather earlier this year. Clendenning said construction could start as early as the end of this week if weather permits. He said the project will take at least three months to complete.
The money for the project comes mostly from the federal government, but the Calhoun County Commission must pay for 20 percent of the project’s cost, or about $256,000.
Clendenning said Alabama's Department of Transportation tracked traffic on Lenlock Lane to see how many cars took right turns at Saks Road. Clendenning said the results showed a heavy volume of traffic on that road. Calhoun County Commissioner J.D. Hess said this project will help relieve some of that congestion.
“It’s going to help tremendously, especially with Army Depot traffic,” Hess said.
Road work signs and cones were already in place along Lenlock Lane in preparation for full-swing construction. The construction had already backed into some of the residents’ driveways. Part of the reason, according to Clendenning, is that the county is putting storm drains at the foot of those residents’ driveways to help with stormwater drainage.
“It’s going to be a lot handier for the homeowner,” Clendenning said.
Heather Humphries lives in a house on Lenlock Lane near the intersection. Her fiance bought the house and they moved in in February. She hadn’t heard about the project until the day the end of her driveway was removed.
“I was turning into my driveway and it was torn up,” Humphries said.
Humphries said she has not heard from any county officials about this project. She thinks it will be nice eventually, but the construction is leaving a mess. On top of having her driveway torn up, she said, road workers cleared a tree from a lot next door and placed it in her front yard.
“Nobody’s strong enough to move that,” Humphries said. “They used a backhoe to get it over here.”
Clendenning said the affected residents were paid for giving the county the right to work on their land, though Clendenning did not know the exact amount. He said that portion of the process went very smoothly. Attempts to reach those residents Monday were unsuccessful.
Once construction begins, Clendenning said, there shouldn’t be any lane closures.
“We won’t close the roads,” Clendenning said. “We’ll keep the traffic flowing.”