RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. — News 3 is investigating who’s responsible for getting a broken-down bridge fixed.
The bridge, located on Indian Trail off Highway 431, is creating a safety problem for those who try to cross it. Holes, an uneven surface, and torn-up pillars have those who live nearby concerned for their safety.
“We’re just looking for solutions,” Ned Jenrette said.
Jenrette lives about two miles from the bridge, but has to go across it to get to work.
“I’m sure that they won’t bring an ambulance across this bridge because of the weight,” Jenrette said. “I mean you can tell by the look of it and as old as it is it needs some work done to it terribly.”
The only way to get around the bridge for Jenrette and his neighbors is by going through a private 1,400 acre hunting area.
The hunters are letting them go through now, but may not when hunting season starts.
Jenrette has been told by some companies they won’t even try crossing the bridge.
Back in 2007, the Jenrette’s got a letter from the Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative. It said the bridge needed to be repaired before their trucks could go across. Ten years later, the bridge still needs to be fixed.
The Russell County Highway Department said the bridge is privately owned. They didn’t know if more than one party owns it, but did say the non-profit “Teen Challenge” is one of the owners.
“We’ve tried to make contact with them to try to discuss our options and they’ve never called us back,” Jenrette said.
Travis Hargrove is the attorney who represents “Teen Challenge.”
He said Wednesday was the first time he had heard complaints about the bridge and would look into who’s responsible for fixing it.
“I have probably made 100 phone calls to everybody I can think of,” Jenrette said. “I mean I feel like a dog chasing its tail. I’m not getting anywhere. I just need to sit down and talk to somebody and see what can be done.”
Hargrove said as the attorney for “Teen Challenge,” he will investigate who owns the bridge and who’s responsible for maintaining it.
He said if the non-profit organization is in fact obligated to maintain the bridge and fix it, they will do just that.