AL 157 bridge work

A bridge going nowhere is seen June 19 along Alabama 157 over Lake Catoma. 

Another important step to begin work on the four-laning of Alabama 157 was approved with a resolution for the relocation of water and sewer lines.

Mayor Woody Jacobs said at Monday’s Cullman City Council meeting that the relocation of the lines is part of the engineering phase of the $28 million project. The four-laning will run from the intersection of U.S. 31 past Cullman Regional.

“We can expect around February 2020 to bid it or let bids,” Jacobs said. “This is part of the long-anticipated four-laning project.”

Cullman was awarded federal money totaling $14 million, with the Alabama Department of Transportation responsible for most of the remaining cost.

Bridges have been in place for several years for the four-lane improvement, but the project had stalled after they were built. Safety concerns, with the daily snarl of traffic and the value of the hospital, helped spur the project forward.

Expanding the lanes is also expected to open up significant commercial and residential development in the years to come.

Jacobs also introduced two members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2214 — Van Hutchins and Rick Leigeber — during the meeting and recognized post members and volunteers for lining City Cemetery, U.S. 31, Veterans Park and other areas with American flags during holidays recognizing veterans and their sacrifices for the nation.

American flag donation

From left, VFW members Rich Leigeber and Van Hutchins hold the American flag while Mayor Wood Jacobs talks about veterans’ efforts in the community and the city’s donations of flags for future events.

The city donated flags to the VFW for future events and holidays. Jacobs and VFW Flag Committee Chairman Van Hutchins said crosses have been secured for Memorial Day decoration at the cemetery.

“We just appreciate everything our veterans to for our community and helping us all to remember the service and sacrifice that so many have given through the years,” Jacobs said.

The mayor and council also recognized the state champion girls softball 12U softball team of Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism with a resolution for their performance, title and representing Cullman at the competition recently in Alabaster.

Thumbs up

Cullman Parks, Recreation, and Sports Tourism (CPRST) Director Nathan Anderson, left, gives a thumbs up to the 12U Cullman All-Star Softball team during Monday night’s city council meeting. The team was honored for winning the USSSA State Tournament Peaches Division this summer in Alabaster. Team members include: Lexie Keel, Lillyann Powell, Emma Matthews, Courtney Smith, Olivia White, Presley Reeling, Abby Southeard, Anna Southeard, Lily Smith, Katie Barrett, Lauryn Cunningham, Lakin McBee, Kealie Harbison, Olivia Stallings, and Emma Britton. The team is coached by Cliff Powell and assistant coaches Tommy Britton and Brandon Smith.

Consisting of girls 11- and 12-years-old, the resolution was read by council member Clint Hollingsworth recognizing the team and coaches.

A host of family members and others turned out for the recognition and photo session at the city council meeting.

Hollingsworth also reported on 2nd Fridays and Celebrate Cullman, a twin event that drew thousands of people to downtown Cullman on Friday evening.

“This weekend, I think we had the largest crowd ever since the event started,” Hollingsworth said. “It’s great to see the (Cullman Area) Chamber of Commerce, parks and recreation and the merchants working together to offer this for everyone here and the visitors who come in.. It’s getting better each year.”

Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Director Nathan Anderson said the crowd was likely the largest since the event, with the crowd stretching from the Festhalle to the Busy Bee Cafe at its peak in the evening.

One more 2nd Fridays is scheduled in September, and the event will resume again next spring.

Council member David Moss called on Wastewater Treatment Plant Manager Jeff Adams to report on progress in controlling sewer flies around the plant and nearby neighborhoods.

Adams said, after reaching out to consultants and using new sprays and techniques, that the situation had vastly improved, but the work is continuing.

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David Palmer has decades of experience in the newspaper industry. He currently serves as editor of The Cullman Times.