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Bridge replacement the topic of hearing

By Scott Mims

There was no opposition to the town of Thorsby’s proposal to replace a bridge on West Medical Center Drive in a public hearing held Wednesday.

Currently, the bridge cannot support a school bus, fire truck or similar vehicle. Mayor Dearl Hilyer estimated that there are approximately 40 homes located within corporate limits west of the bridge.

Peggy Matthews, a grant writer for the town, urged each citizen to write a letter in support of the project.

“We really need support letters saying the problems you have,” Matthews said. “I can’t express how important [community participation] is. It could mean the difference of getting it funded or not getting it funded.”

Matthews said petitions are also acceptable but are not as effective as individual letters from residents. She said people do not have to live in the target area in order to submit a letter.

The estimated cost of replacing the bridge, not including engineering fees, is about $204,450. The original wooden substructure would be replaced by a series of concrete culverts. There would also be dirt work to raise the level of the road approaching the bridge, as well as some resurfacing.

The town will apply for a Community Development Block Grant, which would be funded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The grant must benefit at least 51 percent low- to moderate-income residents.

Letters may be taken to Thorsby City Hall or mailed to the town’s address, P.O. Box 608, Thorsby, AL  35171.

For more information, call 646-3575.