Hoover mayor: Valleydale Road widening project ‘much needed’

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

HOOVER – The city of Hoover is partnering with Shelby County on the Valleydale Road widening project from Caldwell Mill Road to Inverness Center Drive.

The project would widen the existing two to three lanes of traffic to five lanes from Caldwell Mill Road to about 2,400 feet west of U.S. 280, according to a memorandum of understanding between the city and the county.

The project will include a 6-foot sidewalk “adjacent to the northern side of the widened roadway for the entire length of the project,” according to the MOU, which the Shelby County Commission approved during its Aug. 22 meeting.

The Hoover City Council is expected to vote on the MOU during its second meeting in September, according to Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos.

“It’s a needed project,” Petelos said. “It’s been on the books since 1999. This (the MOU) is one more step making it closer to reality.”

About 35 percent of the project is located within Hoover city limits. About 65 percent is located in unincorporated Shelby County.

Hoover has contracted with Volkert and Associates to perform surveying, engineering, design and consultation for the project, according to the MOU, which notes that right of way acquisition began in 2009.

“However,” the MOU reads, “due to the length of time the project has taken in completing the design stages and the rapid development that has and is occurring in this corridor, the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration is requiring an updated survey of the entire corridor before right of way acquisition may proceed.”

According to the MOU, Hoover and Shelby County have agreed to share future project costs of 10 percent each to fund a local 20 percent match to complete “additional survey, design and right of way acquisition for properties outside of Hoover City limits which is estimated to be approximately $6,000,000.”

According to the MOU, Hoover would continue to be the local project sponsor, while Shelby County would agree to reimburse Hoover for the county’s share of “the local match for the future survey, design and right of way acquisition costs for properties outside of Hoover City limits, including all expenses associated with condemnation, not to exceed” $1 million for the county’s share.

Hoover and Shelby County also would agree to share construction costs.

“The county share of construction costs shall not exceed” $1 million, according to the MOU, which also notes that preliminary construction costs are estimated to be about $12 million, though actual costs won’t be known until bids are revealed.

“I can’t tell you when it’s going to happen,” Petelos said, “but we’re one step closer.”

The project will bring much needed relief to those using Veterans Park, Jeff State, Spain Park High School and Berry Middle School, Petelos said.

“This is going to help with that traffic, especially during school time,” Petelos said. “It also will make for an alternate route for folks who get bogged down on 280 traffic and may want to cut off on Valleydale Road.”