State makes changes to busy Alabaster intersection

Published 3:17 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Drivers on Alabama 119 will notice a few changes at the road’s frequently congested intersection with U.S. 31, as state crews recently completed lane and signal updates in the high-traffic area.

Alabama Department of Transportation crews added an additional turn lane for drivers turning right onto U.S. 31 from Alabama 119 South.

The state crews also updated traffic signals at the intersection to handle the lane changes, said Alabaster City Administrator George Henry.

Cars in the new turn lane will be able to either travel across U.S. 31 onto Shelby County 11 or turn right onto U.S. 31.

The new turn lane was added to help handle traffic on Alabama 119 traveling toward Interstate 65 and the Colonial Promenade Shopping Center, Henry said. Before the second turn lane was added, all traffic turning right from Alabama 119 onto U.S. 31 was funneled into a single turn lane.

“If you’ve ever been around that area when traffic was heavy, you know that right turn lane backs up past the old Winn Dixie and the Food World shopping center,” Henry said. “It just wasn’t a good intersection.

“Now you can turn right from that center lane (of Alabama 119) onto 31,” Henry added. “It’s been changed for about a week, but I don’t think many people know about it yet. It’s hard to see the arrows on the road during heavy traffic without bigger signs on the side of the road.”

Henry urged those who travel through the intersection to contact the Department of Transportation and share their feelings on the lane and traffic signal changes, and said he hoped the state will consider additional changes at the busy intersection.

“I would like to see the state extend that right turn lane about 50 feet down to Burger King,” Henry said. “People also need to be sure and pay attention to the yield signs when they are turning onto 31. Folks are used to not yielding there, but they have to yield now that there is another turn lane.”

To provide feedback on the changes made to the intersection, contact the Department of Transportation at 328-5820, or visit