BOC agrees to maintain old portion of Hwy. 72
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Madison County commissioners agreed last week to adopt the old portion of Hwy. 72 after the Comer bypass is constructed, an approximate seven-mile stretch of road. But the board wants the state to lay down a new layer of asphalt before they assume responsibility for the road.
Commission Chairman Wesley Nash urged the board to approve the upkeep of the old Hwy. 72, saying that he doesn’t want to delay the Comer bypass project.
“It is a great responsibility to take on that section, but I think the 72 corridor is going to far outweigh the liability of taking that on,” said Nash. “If this is going to hold that corridor, then I’m recommend that we adopt that portion, because I don’t want to be a hindrance in getting that thing in. We’re talking a $21-or-$22 million project. … Anything we can do now to be competitive for the money they’re putting out on projects, I think we need to do it.”
The commissioners agreed to maintain the road once the bypass is constructed but also agreed, at the recommendation of Commissioner Bruce Scogin, to ask the state Department of Transportation to put down a layer of new asphalt before the county assumes responsibility of the road.
The DOT plans to widen Hwy. 72 in two phases through Madison County, with construction of the 2.7-mile stretch from Hwy. 172 to the Comer city limits scheduled to start in 2010. DOT spokesperson Mark McKinnon said there “is no specific timetable” on the second phase of the construction, which will route Hwy. 72 around Comer and Carlton, adding that the project is considered in the DOT’s “long range” plans.