While the first phase of Ross Clark Circle’s expansion only recently started, officials are already preparing for the additional installments.
Blankenship Contracting, a City of Dothan contractor, has initiated a project to relocate the water and wastewater infrastructure located on Ross Clark Circle from south of the U.S. Highway 84 intersection to the intersection with North Cherokee Avenue. The contractor will also relocate those utility lines on U.S. Highway 231 from Girard Avenue to Buyers Drive and on U.S. 84 West between Flowers Chapel Road and Englewood Drive.
The project ensures Alabama Department of Transportation contractors can begin work on future phases of the Ross Clark Circle expansion whenever those bids have been awarded.
For years ALDOT officials have proposed expanding sections of Ross Clark Circle from four to six lanes. ALDOT bid the whole project (including the sections on highways 231 and 84) in bulk, but the only bid offered bested budget projections by $18 million.
That caused state officials to decide to split the project into multiple phases.
Construction on the first phase of the project, stretching from Bauman Drive to south of the Highway 84 intersection, began in May. While efforts there continue, Blankenship crews will move necessary utility lines with the city’s help in some spots, said Dothan Public Works Director Charles Metzger.
“We have some work, a sewer line, in the road near Walgreens (on West Main Street) that Dothan Utilities will (address),” he said.
The city assisted the project in another way as a Dothan City Commission vote on Tuesday attested. The city selected the contractor and fronted the money for the project with state and federal funds eventually reimbursing the city for the project.
Tuesday’s vote increased the value of the original contract to $4.79 million from $2.65 million. Metzger said ALDOT based the original contract on estimates, while the updated agreement reflects the actual bid.
The utility line relocation could impact travel in a few areas, including the city’s project near Walgreens. Additionally Blankenship crews will tackle another sewer line in the right turn lane near Krispy Kreme, which could eventually cause some detours, Metzger said.
While officials sliced the utility relocation project into two separate phases, one preceding the current roadway construction project, the Ross Clark Circle widening project could take up to five phases to complete, a previous Eagle report said.