Walnut Street set to re-open next week

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Final repairs began Wednesday along Walnut Street Northwest near Rusken Packaging in Cullman. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – A slope failure, heavy rain and construction work at an adjacent property along Walnut Street Northwest and Burgundy Lane Northwest caused a part of the road to start sliding downhill about six weeks ago, prompting a road closure near Rusken Packaging. Final repairs are now underway.

Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs said Wednesday, “They’ve (Rusken) got the retaining wall built to the point now we can fix the road and it won’t slide, so they’re finishing up the wall and we’re digging out where the road fell and we’ll bring that back up, pack all that dirt in and we’ll bring in our milling machine and mill all the asphalt down and we’ll repave it.”

Jacobs said the roadway was closed (Walnut Street, between Burgundy Lane and Brantley Avenue) approximately six weeks ago, with emergency repairs started immediately to make sure the slope didn’t continue to slide down into the construction of the retaining wall.

“That was an emergency repair,” shared Jacobs. “We can start construction on the road (and) that started today, this morning.”     

Jacobs is hopeful the project will be completed next week.

“Hopefully next week we’ll be able to pave it back. I may be a little ambitious, but we’ll say towards the end of next week,” Jacobs smiled.

As to who all is involved, Jacobs said, “Rusken’s involved, Cliff Harris Construction, with a sub-contractor I don’t know who that is, and the City of Cullman’s involved, our street department, St. John & Associates and Terracon Geotechnical engineering were involved in the project.”

Jacobs said he knows the road closure has been an inconvenience.

“We hate that it’s taking this long, but each piece had to, you know, it’s kind of like building a puzzle, that piece had to go in before you could put that piece in, so once they got the retaining wall up to that point, then we could do what we need to do, cause people are used to going that way and it’s an inconvenience, but it’s unfortunate that it happened.”

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Maggie Darnell

maggie@cullmantribune.com