VIDEO: Rainsville Council demands answers on Chavies Road bridge project
May 1, 2017 Share

VIDEO: Rainsville Council demands answers on Chavies Road bridge project

PHOTO: Chuck Chitwood of CDG Engineering addresses the council on the progress of the Chavies Road Bridge project. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Old Chavies Bridge

The council voted back in October to begin the engineering process to replace the aging bridge on Chavies Bridge Road, but we’ve been down this road before. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

tyler@southerntorch.com

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — To start the Workshop, the Rainsville City Council was updated by Chuck Chitwood, of CDG Engineering on the project to replace the aging bridge on Chavies Road, a short distance from Plainview School.

Chitwood began his remarks by stating that CDG is currently waiting on the Alabama Department of Transportation to give comments on the plans for the project or to give final approval on the plan. In an earlier meeting, Chitwood had given May as the timeframe to open the project to bids. But as of now, it looks like the project might not make the deadline. The project has taken about four years to begin, with much of the same being discussed with CDG Engineering in council meetings going back to 2014.

“Basically we’re in a holding pattern waiting on ALDOT (Alabama Department of Transportation), we have submitted plans to them on March 8th for construction plans,” said Chitwood. “And we have not received any comment back from them at this point. So, we’ve been waiting for two months for them to come back for comments on construction plans.”

Councilman Bejan Taheri pointed out the problem with this: “Well, Chuck I hate to tell you, but last week I had an hour with this guy, Mr. Hodges (ALDOT), and he’s waiting on ya’ll too. He said ‘we’re waiting on CDG.’ So I don’t know what’s going on.”

“Are we going to let the project in May?” Taheri asked.

“It won’t be in May,” replied Chitwood.

“So ya’ll just told us a story,” Councilman Ricky Byrum asserted.

“We didn’t intentionally tell you a story. We met our schedule, they just haven’t got any comments back to us on time,” explained Chitwood.

After discussion with Chitwood regarding who was to blame, the council and mayor agreed that their should be a meeting between CDG and ALDOT to determine just who is waiting on who.

“I think we need to coordinate a meeting with them and get them a little closer together, because I want to know who’s missing,” said Byrum.

“I’d like to know the dollar amount we’ve already paid them (CDG),” said Councilman Derek Rosson.

Taheri answered Rosson: “We’ve already paid them $138,000.00.”

“The bottom line is Chuck, we’ve got to get this project let this year by October. The mayors’ already got the letter…. This money is going to be gone. For five or six years I’ve been fighting for this bridge. We’ve got the money and someone didn’t do their homework,” said Taheri.

The council’s frustration is understandable, as an initial contract was signed with CDG Engineering to start the project in October 2013. Almost a year later in September of 2014, Matthew Burgess, a project manager with CDG Engineering, briefed the council and reported that the replacement bridge design was approved by ALDOT. Burgess also pointed out that CDG’s contract (in 2014) was nearly at it’s completion, meaning that this is the second contract with CDG Engineering. Burgess also reported in this meeting that construction would be ready to start the following spring (2015).

In October of this year, CDG Engineering began the project a second time for the city. Maybe after a second try, the Chavies Bridge will finally be replaced.

Watch the Full Video: (Council story continues below)

Workshop:

  • Boozer Bridge Project  Adam Lea, of LADD Engineering updated the council on the city’s other bridge project, on Boozer Road. Lea reported that LADD is also waiting for ALDOT approval for the right-of-way, and also approval from DeKalb County for the portion of the project covered by the county.
  • Rainsville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tim Eberhart reminded everyone that the Rainsville Industrial Development Board would have it’s industry appreciation breakfast tomorrow morning, at 6:30 am at Kelly’s Kitchen.
  • Rainsville Fire Department Derek Rosson reported that the fire department was at 18 of 20 volunteers needed. Recruitment and Retention funds were able to be used for classes for the volunteers of the department.
  • Rainsville Police Department Police Chief Kevin Smith updated that the police department was moving along with the Reserve Police Officer’s program, with the recruits just finishing qualifying on their duty weapons. Smith also announced the department would have classes soon with the Huntsville Police Department and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
  • Rainsville Public Library Library Director Sara Cruce announced that signups were now ongoing for the Library Summer Reading Program.
  • Mayor Mayor Roger Lingerfelt explained that the city needed to set a public hearing date regarding the returning of alleyway’s to the property owners. The Rainsville Farmer’s Market will start on the first Thursday in June, in the city park, at 4 pm. The city’s monthly car show, Cruisin’ in the Park will held from 5 – 8 pm on the second Saturday of each month for the summer. The mayor also announced Kim Erwin had everything ready to submit for a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to improved Ranch Road down to Paragon Specialty Products. It was also discussed that the dumpster for cleanup will be be at the city shop and that anybody from Rainsville or Sylvania can bring their sanitation ticket and use it from 7 am – 6 pm during the week, and 8 am – 12 pm on Saturday.

Regular Meeting:

  • Public Hearing on Alleyways The City Council approved a date to hold a public hearing on giving the right-of-ways back to property owners. The hearing will be held on Monday, June 5 at 5 pm before the regular council meeting in the Rainsville City Annex.
  • Police Chief, Assistant Police Chief, and Fire Chief Officially named after probationary period. Rainsville Police Chief Kevin Smith, Assistant Chief Josh Wigley, and Fire Chief Willy Wright were initially hired on a 90-Day Probationary Period, which ended recently. In separate motions, the council approved the permanent hiring of these positions. Congratulations!
  • Hired Casey Jones as a new Police Officer According to Councilman Bejan Taheri, last meeting’s hiring of Chris Phillips would have required the city buy out his time worked since his hiring from the Fort Payne Police Department, which Taheri said the city wasn’t prepared to do. The council opted instead to hire Casey Jones, of the City of Stevenson. Jones will start on May 17, 2017.

Other actions taken at the meeting:

  • Purchased eight, 4 yard dumpsters and five 8 yard dumpsters for $8838.00.
  • Approved a new street light on the corner of Grand Estate and VFW.
  • Posted a 30 hour, Part-time Summer job opening for the Rainsville Public Library.
  • Approved Derek Huskey of the Fire Department to attend an advanced EMT course.
  • Approved the purchase of books for Justin Harper of the Fire Department for ropes school.
  • Paid Monthly Bills.

The next regular meeting of the Rainsville City Council will be held on May 15 at 5 pm, with the workshop beginning at 4:15 pm.

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