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Roanoke gets $500,000 for Franklin Road

There won’t be a bypass coming to Roanoke any time soon, but on Monday the city got news that it will receive money for the next best thing.

Local representative Bob Fincher called Roanoke mayor Jill Patterson-Hicks with the good news that the city’s application for a half million dollar grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) for repaving Franklin Road had been approved. That money, plus the $250,000 previously awarded by ALDOT earlier this year, gives the city the money it needs to complete the project.

It’s a win for the city, as Franklin Road serves as the most logical and well-traveled connector between Main Street and Highway 431 on the north side of Roanoke. The road is narrow and riddled with potholes, and the proposed resurfacing project will resolve both of those issues.

The path of the once proposed bypass has long since been deemed to be cost prohibitive because of some of the land and water that it would have traversed. That path was slightly north of Franklin Road. But the award of the grant is essentially the state’s way of punting on ever doing a bypass and giving the city a solution to its north end traffic needs.

The Franklin Road project has already been engineered and designed by Harmon Engineering. All that remains is for the city to bid the project out to a contractor and award that bid. That process will be complete in time for work to begin next spring.

The project will also move forward at essentially no cost to the citizens of Roanoke. The estimated $750,000 price tag for the project will be fully covered by state funds.

“It will be one of the first roads paved because we’re not having to use [local] taxpayer dollars,” Patterson-Hicks said.

In addition to Franklin Road, intersecting streets Yancey Street, Highland Avenue and West Piedmont Street will also be included in the resurfacing project. The bridge on Franklin Road will remain as is.

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