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College Road gets safety improvements

County engineer David Palmer said in the almost 30 years he has been county engineer, finding a way to make College Road in front of Northwest-Shoals Community College safer has always been a priority limited by funds. 

After years of searching for grants, work on College Road is anticipated to begin spring 2020.

“That’s one of those that we’ve been working on and trying to get for a while,” Palmer said. “Every year we’ve been trying to get a significant grant to do some safety improvements, literally every year since I started working here.”

Palmer said plans for construction are already complete and will be sent for state approval at the beginning of the next fiscal year.

“It’s just an issue that has been brought up for years,” said Franklin County District 2 Commissioner Jason Miller.

Miller said he and the rest of the Franklin County Commission have been working hard to find money to improve College Road, and they finally had success when a grant through the Hazardous Rural Roads Program allocated $296,000 toward the project. Miller said Franklin County is also matching 10 percent of the grant.

Palmer said he and his team have already looked at the road to determine the best places for improvements. Improvements will include guard rails in select areas, new striping, pavement markers, delineator posts, edge graining and re-establishing one curve.

“With the sharp dropoffs and with kids traveling back and forth to school, we felt like it was important to try and make some safety improvements on the road,” Miller added.

The project is expected to take 60 days and will not close any parts of the road for construction. Palmer said he is going to work with the construction company to keep construction during a time when traffic is not as high.

“It may be bit inconvenient for a while,” Palmer said, “but it will make things better.”