Fairhope approves more work for Gayfer turn lanes

By GUY BUSBY
Government Editor
guy@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 1/18/23

FAIRHOPE — Roadbed deterioration at the intersection of Gayfer Avenue and U.S. 98 will add to costs and the timetable to add turn lanes at the site, city officials said.Fairhope City Council …

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Fairhope approves more work for Gayfer turn lanes

Posted

FAIRHOPE — Roadbed deterioration at the intersection of Gayfer Avenue and U.S. 98 will add to costs and the timetable to add turn lanes at the site, city officials said.

Fairhope City Council voted Monday, Jan 9, to approve a change order for the project to add $45,555 paid to McElhenney Construction, raising the total contract cost to $595,293.

Richard Johnson, Fairhope public works director, said construction crews found that the road on which the turn lanes were to be built was in poor condition.

“Not to get too technical, the approaches are going to be overlaid with new asphalt but looking on the west as well as part of the east side, the material that we were going to overlay was really coming apart,” Johnson told council members. “It was breaking up, and it was the recommendation of the geotechnical, the project engineers, to mill that out and do a full buildup back.”

He said that if the additional work is not done, other repairs would be needed in the near future.

“I will tell you, if we choose not to authorize this change order, we'll go ahead and overlay that old asphalt, and we will be back out there sometime in our near future addressing the deficiencies in that,” Johnson said.

He said most of the cost of the change order will be paid by the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Alabama Department of Transportation, which are paying most of the project costs.

“We have already gotten thumbs up from MPO and verbal from ALDOT where they will be glad to adjust the funding agreement where the MPO covers 80% of the cost of that change order, and we would be responsible for 20%,” Johnson said.

Johnson said most of the original project should be complete within a week.

Councilman Jack Burrell said crews did a good job fitting the additional lane in the space available at the site.

“It looked mighty small there, but we pulled out the drawings last week and went over the specs,” Burrell said. “I didn't know how they were going to get a turn lane there, but they are.”

Burrell also said crews should place striping or some other type of warning on the roads to keep drivers from using the new shoulders while turning. He said drivers leaving the vehicles lanes could endanger pedestrians trying to cross the road.

Johnson said he has been talking to ALDOT officials about options to keep drivers out of pedestrian and bicycle areas.

“We talked about what are the options to keep folks from kind of cheating that paved shoulder to make a turn lane out of it,” Johnson said. “I haven't heard back, but they were not opposed to adding either striping or markings or even possibly putting the delineators in to keep folks in the proper travel lane and make the proper right turn.”

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