Cullman County engineer gives update on CR 222

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Cullman County Engineer Phillip Widner speaks to the Cullman County Commission. (January 2024 Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – At the Cullman County Commission’s monthly meeting on April 18, Cullman County Engineer Phillip Widner gave an update to the commissioners on the progress of the repairs to County Road 222, where a large sinkhole was discovered in late January. The damaged roadway is located near Interstate 65 Exit 305 northbound

The sinkhole was found Jan. 26 (www.cullmantribune.com/2024/01/26/sinkhole-discovered-on-county-road-222). Plans were made for Apel Machine and Supply to begin repairs on Monday, March 25; the construction company made plans to bore under the road and correct the void, reinforcing the roadway, keeping travel paths safe for motorists. (www.cullmantribune.com/2024/03/23/county-road-222-repairs-to-begin-march-25).  

“I know last meeting we passed the award for Apel Machine and Supply; everything has been going really smooth,” said Widner. “Right now, we’re in the process of cleaning out those old pipes that collapsed so we can fill them in with concrete.” 

The plans for the roadway are underway, but not without a few hiccups. The tedious job of clearing out the collapsed pipes to prepare to fill them with concrete is being done daily by Cullman County Road Department workers. Widner said the job has gone smoothly, but like any construction job, obstacles have arisen. 

Widner shared one obstacle the road department has been tackling: settlement from the road above the void. With the construction and demolition happening on the grounds, the soil and dirt along the other portions of the road have begun to settle, creating the potential for future issues such as cracks in the asphalt and weak portions of the roadway.

“We do have some settlement on 222, which was anticipated,” he said. “We are trying to figure out now the best way to handle that settlement. We have to get the old pipes filled with concrete before we can address the settlement.”

Widner said County administration teams are on-site daily, tracking the progress and settling of the roadway around the construction zone; Widner said the road has not had any additional settlement issues in nearly a week.

“It’s been a slow process, but I anticipate, hopefully, by the time we meet next month, we will have everything complete except some of the settlement.”

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