Helena bypass passes study

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A proposed bypass around Helena&8217;s congested Old Town district has gotten the green light for a 2007 completion, after road plans passed an environmental impact study.

Consultant group Solid Civil Design said no threatened or endangered plants or animals live within the two proposed bypass routes. The design group is still planning the exact path of the bypass.

Currently, residents&8217; only option of going in or out of the city is Alabama 261, or Helena Road. The 2 1/2-to 3-mile bypass will reroute traffic to Shelby County 52.

Besides traffic to downtown stores and Buck Creek Park, Alabama 261 also has an elementary school and train tracks which slow traffic.

The Alabama Department of Transportation matched federal funds of $8 million to pay for the road, which is expected to cost between $15 and $18 million