Engineer wants road access policy | News

TUSCUMBIA — About three years ago, Colbert County commissioners shot down a proposal requiring property owners to secure a permit from the Road Department before they connect a driveway to the county road system.

County Engineer John Bedford said the issue is not about micromanaging the driveways of property owners, it’s to advise them how to build them correctly and safely.

The service, he said, would be provided to the property owner at no cost.

“People are accessing the county roads without contacting us,” Bedford said. “Driveways are put in wrong. They’re put in bad places.”

The county engineer plans to bring the issue back before the commission during today’s regular meeting.

Bedford said he took photos of a recently constructed driveway in the Crooked Oak community where about 6 inches of mud washed into the road because the driveway was built incorrectly. The mud, he said, could pose a hazard to motorcyclists, bicyclists and inexperienced drivers.

He is also concerned about driveways built in locations that could cause sight distance issues. He said it’s also important to control water runoff in ditches maintained by the county. 

The county can assist residents with the proper installation of drainage pipes.

“All we want to do is ask the individual to contact us if they’re going to tie into the county road system,” Bedford said. “We’ll be able to assist those individuals in getting those access points in correctly and safely.”

He said the county will not maintain driveway connections or drainage culverts that may have been incorrectly or unsafely constructed.

Allowing the Road Department to advise them could save landowners money, Bedford said.

Franklin County Engineer David Palmer said there is no formal policy in Franklin County, but about 90 percent of the people who make new connections contact the Road Department before…

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