Ozark Mayor Disappointed in State DOT

A battle over time and money is brewing between the state of Alabama and the city of Ozark.

Ozark's mayor says the state transportation department promised years ago to fix a dangerous intersection in his town. But because of financial reasons, DOT officials say it's not going to happen.

"The intersection, I'd say, is one of the most dangerous intersections in the state," said Mayor Bob Bunting says this is the most pressing safety issue in Ozark today.

"You see the cross out there? We've had one fatality," Bunting added. "Just accident after accident."

He says as many as 20,000 cars a day pass through the intersection at the corner of Highways 231 and 123.

And for ten years, Bunting says he's been optimistic the state DOT would eventually make repairs.

"We had a public hearing in 1997 and each year it just keeps getting put off and put off," he complained.

WSFA 12 News contacted the department of transportation, where officials say they are beginning work on the intersection. But it's not the work many people in Ozark were hoping for.

"As we did some of the preliminary engineering and right of way acquisition, the project cost grew quickly to around $15 million and that exceeds the available funds we have," said DOT spokesman Tony Harris.

Harris says the intersection will be repaved, but won't be realigned and no traffic signal will be installed.

"We'll continue to look for funding for that," Harris said. "But it's going to be quite some time."

In the meantime, Harris says repaving project should begin in the coming weeks and be finished by late fall.

Reporter: Mark Bullock