SHELBY COUNTY, Alabama (WIAT) – An expansion project for Alabama 261 in Hoover could be one step closer to reality.
On Wednesday, the developers held a community meeting to answer people’s questions and hear their concerns about the project.
The state calls it one of the busiest two-lane highways that has never been extended with population growth. There was a plan in the early 2000s to expand it – but it ended up being too expensive. Now the developers say they have created a plan to take less land from people and expand this five-lane road.
Residents who live along Alabama 261 are frustrated with the endless traffic.
“There must be relief at some point,” said resident Stephen Cook.
The developers said it’s time to extend the two-mile stretch of road between US 31 and Bearden Road.
“We’ve redesigned, we’ve reduced the footprint of the right-of-way, so it’s now a job we can afford,” said Assistant Regional Engineer Steve Haynes. “This is the reason why we are moving forward this time.”
Almost 20 years after the first talks about the expansion, it just might happen.
“This has been the closest we’ve gotten to real change,” Cook said.
Cook said he would lose his 15-year-old home. He’s been delaying renovations and upgrades for a long time, expecting it to arrive sooner.
“Every time we talk to ALDOT they say six months maybe, next year maybe,” Cook said.
But like many others, making this two-lane five-lane road will help.
“It’s a very close neighborhood,” Cook said. “On the contrary, it will give the whole neighborhood a little more bonus yard that everyone can use at that end of the cul-de-sac. “
The plan includes a central turning lane and two lanes on each side.
“Having a turning lane where you can wait and see the crossing when it’s free in one direction, then wait until the other is free and you can go there, so it will be so much nicer to have that turn lane. extra in the middle, ”said Cheryl Murdoch who lives in Alabama 261.
Cook said he will move to the streets once his house is gone.
“I’m not too upset that I have to move, it’s for the greater good,” he said.
There is still a lot of work to be done and construction will not begin until early spring 2023. Project developers estimate that this plan could cost between $ 25 million and $ 35 million funded by federal, local and state funds.
If you missed Thursday’s meeting you can read more about the project here.