By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)April 5, 2018
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The project to raise and realign headstones at the Military Cemetery on the former Fort McClellan was completed March 23.
The cemetery restoration began in 2016 with restoration of 36 graves in the northwest corner of the cemetery.
Initially, the final phase was planned to only incorporate 319 graves. However, the height of the initial 36 graves had to be adjusted to comply with National Cemetery Administration recommendations.
MOWA Barlovento LLC, JV, completed the project with oversight by Anniston Army Depot's Directorate of Public Works.
Through this project, ANAD, which is responsible for the ground maintenance services, to include mowing, trimming, fence repair, sunken grave repair and headstone alignment, can ensure all rows line up vertically and perpendicularly.
"A grid was established to place the headstones in line," said Jerome Campbell of MOWA Barlovento.
The contractor also cleaned all headstones, replaced damaged headstones and secured them in new concrete footers, which stretch the length of each row.
The cemetery was further restored through repairs of sidewalks and the cleaning and painting of walls.
The project was initially scheduled to be completed in mid-January. However, the addition of the 36 graves and issues with weather extended the time needed.
"We had to add more days due to inclement weather outside the control of the contractor," said Yvonne Land, a supervisory contract specialist with the Anniston Contracting Office.
The final cost of the restoration was $456,435.42.
Established in 1917, the Post Cemetery closed in 1975. Several observances are held there each year, to include Memorial Day and Wreaths Across America.
Within the next year, DPW plans to begin restoration of the POW cemetery on McClellan.
The project will be similar to the Military Cemetery - raising and realigning headstones to ensure compliance with the National Cemetery Administration.
Additionally, the project will remove dead trees threatening the cemetery.
Once a contract has been procured, construction is planned to begin later this year.