Interstate 65 is county’s busiest road

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Here’s some sympathy for motorists that travel Interstate 65 near the Valleydale Road exit every day.

According to recent Department of Transportation statistics, the section of I-65 just north of the exit is the most-traveled spot in Shelby County.

Statistics from 2003 show an average of 107,580 motorists travel past that spot on an average day. Some days the traffic is heavier, and some days it is lighter.

To put that figure in perspective, it is equal to:

* 1,200,000 motorists per week

* 62 million motorists per year

* 4,483 motorists per hour

* 75 motorists per minute

* 1.25 motorists per second.

Not surprisingly, I-65 is the most traveled road in the county, according to DOT. The traffic count just south of the exit is also heavy, at 86,340 per day.

I-65 is busy at other locations in the county, including near the Shelby County Airport (52,540), and the Hwy. 67 exit (37,090). The second busiest road is Hwy. 280 near Inverness.

The traffic count near the intersection of Heatherbrooke and Inverness is 71,720. The count near Meadowbrook is 50,560.

In fact, there are numerous locations in the county where the traffic count exceeds 10,000 vehicles per day.

On Hwy. 31 in Pelham, just north of the Valleydale Road intersection, the count is 33,570 per day.

Traffic can be equally busy in Alabaster. According to DOT, the count near the intersection of Hwy. 31 and Second Avenue is 33,890.

The count at Hwy. 31 near Fourth Avenue is 22,820.

One of the busiest points in Helena is on Hwy. 261, just north of Beaver Creek and Chandelar. The average count there is 18,280.

In Downtown Calera, the busiest location is the intersection of Hwy. 31 and Hwy. 25, at 18,830. In Columbiana, the busiest point is on West College Street, at 10,060