County, traffic at standstill

For years, plans to improve U.S. 280 have been studied, circulated and ultimately rejected.

About two years ago, Shelby County citizens and city leaders who live and work along U.S. 280 thought the problem might finally be solved.

The Alabama Department of Transportation proposed building an elevated toll road expressway as a solution to U.S. 280’s traffic problems — a plan embraced by municipalities along the dangerous roadway.

However, after complaints from a small group of business owners and residents, ALDOT abandoned the plan, saying local support wasn’t strong enough to move forward with the elevated toll road.

Tony Harris of ALDOT said until residents and municipalities band together and call for change, it won’t happen. Meanwhile, U.S. 280 sits at a standstill nearly every day without any signs of improvement.

If you live or work along U.S. 280 and are concerned about the dangers of the highway, your voice is needed to help make a change. Call Gov. Robert Bentley’s office, call ALDOT Director John Cooper’s office and call your local municipal officers, such as your mayor and city council members. Let them know how you feel.

The municipalities in Shelby County have supported the toll road plan, but those who are daily affected by U.S. 280 must make more noise and demand answers. Change must happen, and it needs to happen soon if Shelby County is to continue to grow and prosper.

We urge our readers to step up and make a stand. Call your governmental leaders today and let them know the status quo isn’t good enough. As long as progress on U.S. 280 is stalled, our county will have a hard time moving forward.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.