New Access Road Means Additional Jobs

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The city of Graceville is awaiting word from the state on construction of an access road. The road can mean more than 100 additional jobs.

Log trucks both enter, and leave Rex Lumber onto Highway 77. At busy times, the vehicles will be backed-up along the state roadway.

Rex Lumber officials say it's important to get an additional access for trucks exiting the plant.

Chuck Watkins, with Rex Lumber said, "We need an access behind the plant; that way we can make it easier for them to exit. It won't get caught with those trying to enter."

Graceville officials have applied for state grant monies, which will cover the estimated $3-million dollars to construct a second access.

Cit Manager of Graceville, Eugene Adams said, "If you have a mechanical problem with the crane, then it'll cause the trucks to back-up onto the highway. We’ve had that before."

Dothan Log Truck Operator, Elton Burks, says a traffic tie-up can create hazardous conditions. "Yes it does. We all wait to get into the plant here,” he said. “In the mean time, there's no where else to go but into the highway."

The company, along with local officials, hope the State Department of Transportation will see the problem, and help fund the access alternative.

Pastor Jim Creel lives adjacent to the current fourth-avenue truck entrance way into Rex Lumber. He says, "It's noisy now. They add a second shift into the plant; they'll be trucks coming in at all hours of the day and night."

Rex Lumber officials say an additional access road is critical as part of its plans to add a second shift employing 80 additional workers.

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