County to replace bridge over Buck Creek

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Shelby County is making plans to replace the bridge over Buck Creek on Shelby County 52 leading from Pelham to Helena.

Tom Grimes, an engineer with the Shelby County Engineering Department, said in an email interview that bids for the project will likely be let in late 2014, and construction should take nine months to a year to complete.

The bridge needs to be replaced because, as a narrow two-lane structure, it is too small for the 14,000 vehicles that cross daily.

“It’s not a bad bridge; it’s just too small for the route it services,” Grimes wrote in the email.

The project will cost slightly more than $1.55 million, but is eligible for federal aid construction funds and Alabama Department of Transportation funds. Shelby County will pay $310,561 toward the construction cost, Grimes wrote.

Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc., an engineering firm out of Tuscaloosa, is working to design the project at a cost of $105,000. Shelby County will pay 20 percent of the design costs, as well as 100 percent of all right-of-way acquisition costs if any are incurred, Grimes wrote.

He wrote that Shelby County has been planning to replace the bridge since 1991, and the county completed corridor studies for the entire length of Shelby County 52 in the early 1990s and 2000s.

“The widening on both sides of the interstate, resurfacing of the rest of (Shelby County) 52 and this project are all parts of these earlier plans that are beginning to show fruit,” Grimes wrote.