Main Street Preservation Group
We as concerned citizens of the Mentone area want a bridge that is safe and in keeping with the historic and natural characteristics of Mentone. To this end, we propose that the existing bridge be widened to meet minimum width requirements. If that is not feasible, then we propose that a replacement bridge be built with the same style and in the same location as the existing bridge.
Mentone Bridge Project Specifications
The existing historic Mentone Bridge shall continue to be used for at least some of the vehicle traffic on SR-117.
The historic stone wall at the northeast corner of the bridge shall not be disturbed.
The curve at the southeast end of the Mentone Bridge shall be re-constructed so that it will no longer constitute a safety hazard.
shall be a means provided for people on foot, bicycle or horseback to cross the river
while separated from vehicle traffic by a physical barrier.
Probably, the simplest and least expensive way for ALDOT to address the existing bridge/curve safety problem in Mentone is to widen the existing bridge by building a single-lane bridge along its side. The advantages of this for Mentone residents are: 1) it will be impossible for vehicles to collide while crossing the river, 2) two side-by-side single-lane bridges will preclude the possibility of a three-lane road through Mentone, 3) no existing structures will have to be disturbed, 4) no land will have to be expropriated, 5) no woodland will have to be disturbed, 6) the Mentone water line and other utility lines will not be disturbed, 7) this can be completed more quickly than any other alternative, and 8) part of the existing bridge can be used for pedestrians.
Other Ideas and Observations
Conduct a contest to
choose a new name for SR-117 within the town limits of Mentone.
The current name is "Lake Street", but hardly anyone uses that
name. For the purpose of discussion, assume the new name
is "Main Street".
Fix the blind curve southeast of the bridge.
Install a culvert in the ditch running from Moon Lake Church to Little River and cover with fill dirt and grade to accommodate a walking/bicycling/equestrian trail. Install drainage grates as required for local storm runoff.
Prepare a "Route Information" document for truckers, explaining why use of SR-35 is better for them than SR-117 and including maps and other useful information.
Devise ingenious ways of distributing Route Information documents to truckers and trucking companies.
Persuade the mayor and town council to rigorously enforce speed limits for trucks. A first offense could result only in a warning. Every time a truck is stopped, the policeman should distribute a Route Information document.
Note: Each day approximately 250 trucks and 2800 cars (including pickup trucks and other smaller vehicles) cross the bridge at Mentone.
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