Highway 280 meetings set for later this month

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

State Rep. Mike Hill is encouraging county business leaders to speak out on a proposed elevated highway along U.S. 280.

Hill (R-Columbiana) spoke at the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce&8217;s monthly luncheon last Thursday and reminded members of two upcoming meetings designed to give the public a chance to comment on the highway and ask questions.

The meetings will be held Jan. 22-23 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center on Highway 280 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

The meetings were scheduled by Linda Figg of Figg Engineering Group. Progress 280, a group of county and city leaders, business owners and local residents, hired Figg to design a possible roadway.

Hill said the elevated highway is the only realistic solution to fix 280&8217;s notorious traffic woes.

He said the state simply can&8217;t afford to buy the right-of-ways to add more lanes.

&8220;The problem we have is that the property got so valuable so quickly,&8221; said Hill. &8220;It&8217;s not feasible anymore for the state to buy more land.&8221;

&8220;There&8217;s not another solution or alternative. If this doesn&8217;t happen, it will choke off 280 completely. It&8217;s got to go up, or it won&8217;t go at all.&8221;

Managing Editor Ashley Vansant contributed to this report.

Schedule for highway 280 meetings

-January 22: The first day of public discussions on the elevated highway will focus on the eastern side of the project, which includes Shelby County

-January 23: The second day of talks will focus primarily on the western section of the highway, mostly located in Jefferson County

-Both meetings will be held at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center (formerly the HealthSouth building) on Highway 280 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.