Time to elevate 280 efforts

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, June 22, 2010

During the Shelby County Commission work session June 28, the commission will listen to representatives from the Alabama Department of Transportation present the department’s plan to help clear up congestion on U.S. 280 by adding elevated tolled lanes.

The commission will also listen to a presentation by Rethink 280, a grassroots group dedicated to stopping the elevated lanes plan.

Commissioners should take the time necessary to listen carefully to each plan and consider the options. We hope after doing so, the commission will conclude the ALDOT plan is worthy of support.

Many of our Shelby County communities that stand to be most affected by changes to U.S. 280, including Westover, Chelsea and Hoover, have passed resolutions to support the ALDOT elevated lanes plan.

Local influential business organizations, the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce and the Birmingham Business Alliance, have been vocal about their support of the elevated lanes plan.

While the plan has a high price tag, it also has a source of funding lined up. Construction would be paid for with federal bonds and with the tolls drivers would pay.

While Jefferson County citizens and communities have stood against the plan in some instances, we here in Shelby County have different priorities and different concerns. Those should be the same concerns of the Shelby County Commission, and the commissioners should vote according to the needs of their constituents.