U.S. 280 progress at a standstill

Published 4:13 pm Monday, January 30, 2012

“(With the elevated toll road) if I’m going to work in Birmingham, I take the express way. If I’m going to dinner or to shop, I take the lower highway 280,”

Anyone who thinks solving traffic problems on U.S. 280 isn’t a priority for Shelby County residents and municipalities “lives in a box in Montgomery,” Niven said.

“I would welcome anyone who thinks 280 isn’t a dangerous problem to come to Chelsea and travel 280 going and coming. They will see the need. It’s busy all during the day.

“Every time we think something’s coming for 280, we have to do another study. And anytime you do another study, it creates another group of people who pull themselves away. You are not going to get a unanimous consensus on any plan,” Niven said.

Harpersville Theangelo Perkins agrees.

“We support the elevated toll road. If something doesn’t happen, it’s going to stunt growth. In fact, it already is stunting growth,” Perkins said.

“People here talk about the problem of U.S. 280 all the time. (Chelsea Mayor) Earl Niven has been jumping up and down about it for years. Every time he gets to say something publicly, he does.”

Perkins said several area planning groups continue to study the problems of congested traffic on U.S. 280, but nothing seems to come from those studies.

“I’ve attended two meetings in the last couple of months,” Perkins said. “I did expect to see more people there at those meetings. I don’t know if they didn’t get the word out or what, but that’s part of the problem. It’s gone on for so long, people think nothing’s going to happen. They think, ‘oh, they are just doing another study and nothing’s going to come of it.’ Something has to happen, for safety’s sake,” Perkins said.