Good Hope Mayor Jerry Bartlett with Justin Schuman and Wes Hastings of Carcel and G Construction, who oversaw the project
GOOD HOPE – After being closed for almost five months, Doss Bridge on Beech Grove Road was reopened by the City of Good Hope Monday morning. (The bridge has been open for a few days; today was its official reopening.) Mayor Jerry Bartlett, town council members, representatives of the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce, heads of Carcel and G Construction and several local residents were on hand for a ribbon cutting that officially opened the thoroughfare.
According to Bartlett, several factors contributed to the closing.
“They had to move it about 10 feet off this ditch,” said the mayor, “because this ditch was declared a wetland. They found some arrowheads in here, too (making the creek a potential archaeological site). So, we had to move the base over about 10 feet. Then there was a telephone pole right in the middle of where the center line would be. We had to rebuild that base 10 feet over, and when they dug down it was sludge. All the way to the end of it had to be completely dug up, and the base rebuilt all the way from the bottom up.”
A survey conducted of the site yielded no significant archaeological evidence. The bridge itself was also found to be in poor condition (stampings on the concrete indicated that the old bridge was built in 1937), and was narrow for the type of traffic that frequents the road.
Justin Schuman, project manager for Carcel and G Construction, explained, “The main thing is, we widened it. That way, traffic can flow free. If you met a truck beforehand, it was dangerous. Mr. Doss said it was a quarry at one time; we opened it up, and had to do a lot of undercutting that was not expected.”
In spite of the extra work and weather delays, the construction company still completed the project ahead of schedule.
Bartlett praised the crew, “I thought they did an outstanding job. They built the bottom part of the bridge in a record time. We’ve had some rain that slowed it down, but they still finished a good bit ahead of schedule.”
The reopening of the bridge will allow residents from the south to enter Good Hope without having to go out to the interstate, and will shorten the trip for kids on school buses.
According to Bartlett, “Our bus was having to park down here (the south side of the bridge) and turn around, and go back and hit the interstate. So now, for all of these kids, this is probably going to take about 30 minutes of their bus ride off.”
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