Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $200,000 grant to avert a potential long-term health concern in Walker County.
The Community Development Block Grant funds will be used to reroute the water supply to 515 residents in west-central Walker County. The current water line is attached to a closed, deteriorating bridge and is in danger of a massive break should the bridge deteriorate further.
Shifts in the bridge have already caused several breaks in the water line resulting in residents being without water service for up to 36 hours. Affected residents live in the vicinity of Browns Bridge Road, Hunting Club Road, Blanton Lane, Providence Loop Road and Parrish-Oakman Highway.
“Beyond drinking purposes, water is essential to many of our everyday activities like cooking and washing,” Gov. Ivey said. “By taking steps now to reroute a water line that will eventually have to be replaced, the county will avoid placing a hardship on these Walker County residents. I am pleased to support this project.”
Engineers plan to reroute the 6-inch water line from its current location across Lost Creek bridge to a location where another bridge will be constructed across the creek. The current waterline has ruptured three times within the past several months as a result of shifts in the 46-year-old bridge, which has been closed to traffic for several years.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Gov. Ivey recognizes the importance of infrastructure such as public water service in rural communities,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to be a partner with Gov. Ivey and the Walker County Commission in this project to benefit residents.”
Gov. Ivey notified Walker County Commission Chairman Jerry Bishop that the grant had been approved. The county is providing $50,000 for the project.
ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resources management and recreation development.