Traffic summit planned to discuss roads

With Shelby County consistently ranked as the fastest growing county in the state, it shouldn&8217;t be surprising to hear that transportation is a hot topic.

The topic is so popular, local and state representatives are meeting this month to discuss possible solutions.

The Partnership and the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce are hosting a Transportation Summit at the American Village on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Many areas of the state are seeing similar burdens on their roadways, but officials want to concentrate on what can be done locally.

&8220;What we are going to do is narrow it down to a Shelby County focus,&8221; said Jennifer Trammell, executive director of the chamber. &8220;We want to look at what we can do in specific to roads and bridges in our county.&8221;

The Summit will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will feature the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Seth Hammett, D-Andalusia. Hammett serves as Chairman of the Alabama Commission on Infrastructure. The commission was created by the Alabama House of Representatives in order to identify solutions to problems within Alabama&8217;s transportation system.

Trammell said even though everyone has been focusing on the congestion near U.S. 280, this would not be the topic of choice at the transportation summit. &8220;It is definitely going to be a county wide approach not, just a look at Highway 280 or Interstate 65,&8221; Trammell said. &8220;We&8217;re looking at what we can take care of here, ourselves.&8221;

The Commission&8217;s report also addresses pressing needs in the entire transportation network including airports, railways and waterways.

The Summit&8217;s agenda also includes Randy Cole, Shelby County engineer, who will present the road and bridge needs for Shelby County.

Paul Rogers, executive vice president of Red Mountain Bank and chairman of the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and The Partnership, will also present The Partnership&8217;s legislative priorities for the 2007 session.

The Summit is open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. To make a reservation, those interested should contact the chamber at 663-4542. The cost is $12 per person and includes lunch