Pelham could do away with ‘tree tunnel’Published 3:09pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
Pelham leaders are looking to work with county and state agencies to realign what Pelham Mayor Gary Waters called the “most dangerous road in Pelham.”
During an Oct. 22 meeting with the city’s business owners, Waters said the stretch of State Park Road commonly known as the “tree tunnel” has led to numerous vehicle wrecks, injuries and fatalities. Waters attributed more than 600 wrecks and seven fatalities to the stretch of road.
“It is, based on mortality, the most dangerous road in Pelham,” Waters said.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources owns the road, and the Shelby County Highway Department has been maintaining the road for years, Waters said.
Because the right-of-way runs up to the edge of State Park Road south of its intersection with Amphitheater Road, trees stand inches from vehicles as they drive by.
“You can’t choose aesthetics over safety. That’s a big traffic hazard,” Waters said, noting he would like to see the road “straightened and realigned.”
“If it’s approved, I’ll crank the chainsaw and cut down the first tree,” Waters added.
If the project moves forward, Waters said the city would like to add a walkway along State Park Road connecting the Pelham Civic Complex to the entrance to Oak Mountain State Park.