Commissioner Waymon Pitts says he applauds the Governor Bentley for his efforts because Blount County is facing a crisis when it comes to their roads and bridges. He says sometimes school buses have to take detours because the bridges simply aren't safe to cross.
"There has not been a major road and bridge program in the state of Alabama since the one that Gov. Singman back in 2000 or before," he said.
Pitts says road and bridge repair is long overdue. He's pleased to hear that Governor Bentley is developing plans for a bond issue of 2 billion dollars for road projects. Especially since Blount County has some of the worst bridges in the state.
"Most of the bridges that we have, have a tremendous amount of metal in them, and concrete also deteriorates. And the engineering department is constantly downgrading those bridges," said Pitts.
Pitts, however, is concerned that Bentley's plan won't get very far in the next legislative session. His concern is a legitimate one.
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard admits that the state has done a poor job maintaining its roads and bridges. But he cautions against additional financial burdens. "If it's something that's workable I think he is going to find a receptive legislature, because everyone understands the importance of maintaining and building on our infrastructure. But then again we have to be careful to make sure we don't over extend ourselves. We owe that to the tax payers of the state of Alabama," said Hubbard.
Even if Bentley gets what he wants, it will only go so far. "It could go very quickly with the amount of problems we've got. Some of these bridges are going to cost in the millions of dollars to replace," said Pitts.
He says it's worth it though when it comes to peoples' safety.