Elevated lanes project takes another step

The proposed elevated lanes on U.S. 280 project took an important step Wednesday, as the Metropolitan Planning Organization approved a $1 million state request for a corridor study for the project.

The proposed five miles of elevated lanes would run from Eagle Point Parkway to Interstate 459.

ALDOT pre-construction engineer Lance Taylor said the money would pay for the study, for preliminary engineering to begin design work on the project and to help begin the environmental review process.

Taylor said the study is extremely important for the chances of the elevated lanes project.

“This will let us start the preliminary design and let us understand exactly what the impact will be,” Taylor said. “It’ll let us define a lot of parameters for the impact.”

He said he’s not certain when the study will begin, but ALDOT officials are pushing for the study to be completed as quickly as possible.

“Typically, this would take a couple of years, but we’ll be looking to try to finish this as quickly as possible,” he said. “(The project) is very needed on the ground today. We understand the urgency of it, so we’re trying to compress that time here.”

Figg Engineering Group, which designed the proposed elevated lanes, will perform the study.

Taylor said it is still possible the elevated lanes would be tolled.