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Rainsville plans to use gas tax revenue to fix Boozer Bridge

The bridge is on County Road 584, also known as Boozer Road.

Posted: Aug 22, 2019 5:36 PM
Updated: Aug 22, 2019 6:53 PM

The City of Rainsville has designated its gas tax revenue towards Boozer Bridge. The bridge is on County Road 584, also known as Boozer Road.

When you look at Boozer Bridge, you can see the broken railing and the missing foundation. Just about everyone we talked to described driving on this bridge with the same word, scary.

"That old bridge is shaky. It's been needing replaced for years," said Norman Jones.

Jones shares the same opinion about Boozer Bridge as everyone else we talked with on Thursday, including Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt.

"It's like going back 60 years," said Lingerfelt.

Neighbors say the bridge has been there for decades and this isn't the first time the city has said it'll fix it. Most recently, bids went out last month, but the mayor says the estimates came back too high.

City engineers have come up with a new, cheaper plan that will go out for bid next Wednesday. Even before that, the city promised a bridge fix in 2012, but money dried up. This time, the mayor says it's different, because they'll have the gas tax to back them.

The city estimates it'll cost somewhere between $300,000 and $350,000 to fix the bridge. They'll take out a loan with a bank first and use the revenue from the gas tax to pay that off over the next five years.

The mayor says they don't know for sure how much revenue the city will get from the gas tax, but they do know that revenue stream will be focused on paying for Boozer Bridge.

"It's the worst bridge we have in town," said Lingerfelt.

The mayor says the old bridge is historic, so they'll try to preserve it. The plan is to straighten the road and build a new bridge next to the old one.

The bridge has a three ton weight limit. That means school buses and firetrucks have to travel five miles out of their way to get to about a dozen homes.

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