By Tiffeny Owens
The Cullman Times
CRANE HILL —
A stretch of Cullman County 950 that had to be rerouted around Smith Lake this summer is essentially finished, but can’t be opened just yet for drivers to use.
Cullman County officials are working to finalize legal documents related to the acquisition of land from private property owners where the new roadway passes through before opening the road to local traffic, said Associate County Commissioner (Place 2) Stanley Yarbrough.
The county had hoped to have the project finished last month. A portion of CR-950 slid into the lake after heavy rains earlier this summer, and the road department had to reroute the road about 2,600 feet, said County Engineer Jon Brunner.
Residents in the area have had to utilize a temporary road, CR- 4000, to get in and out of the area, with the detour adding an extra 8 to 10 minutes to their trips. Due to the temporary road’s narrowness, it is not suitable for heavy vehicles and equipment which has been frustrating for residents who live on the lake.
“Our part is done. It’s just the land acquisition — getting it turned over from the property owner to the county — that we’re waiting on,” Yarbrough said. “We’re waiting on their attorney to get back with us.”
On Sept. 24, the county agreed to pay $3,500 to buy 2.7 acres owned by Lisa Hullett, trustee for the Arnold grandchildren’s trust. Another parcel, around an acre, was also purchased for the road work, Brunner said.
The county wants to have the deed on the Hullett property transferred before reopening the road so that if something were to happen on the roadway, it would be covered under the county’s liability insurance, officials said.
Brunner said all that’s left on the project is the installation of a cross drain and pouring of gravel which would take about two days to complete.
“We’ve already vacated the old roadway that slid into the lake back to four property owners,” Brunner said. “Once we get the deed worked out, it won’t take us long to finish up the work.”
Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.