LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Lawrence County commissioners unveiled a new bridge that is expected to rake in thousands of dollars in revenue because of its access to a big park.
The aging bridge on County Road 187, according to Commissioner Bobby Burch, put several major events in jeopardy at the Indian Mounds.
Alabama state cross country tournaments are in Lawrence County this weekend. According to officials, around 2500 students from 220 schools are expected to compete.
For the past 18 years the event has been hosted in Lawrence County, and has become one of their leading economic generators.
However, the old bridge was weight restricted and narrow.
This year, county commissioners invested $1.5 million to build a brand new bridge.
“I think the Jesse Owens race we had about 17,000 and we’re expected about 10,000 here tomorrow," said Commissioner Bobby Burch. "That’s a lot of people. When you have one way in and one way out it gets very congested and this will really alleviate the problem.”
“Cross country in Alabama has not been a very popular sport over the years," said race facilitator Stanley Johnson. "Of course you know the South is all about football. However, over the last few years cross country has grown tremendously...especially in North Alabama and small schools.”
The bridge took 7 months to complete.