Helena moves one step closer to bypass road

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabama Department of Transportation moved one step closer to constructing a Helena bypass road on Sept. 11 when the agency awarded a survey and planning contract to a Helena-based engineering firm.

ALDOT awarded the contract to Helena’s Solid Civil Designs engineering firm for the more than 10-mile bypass road, which will run through the northern part of the city and will connect Shelby County 52 west of Helena with Alabama 261 north of Helena, said Helena mayor’s assistant Joy Childers.

As a result of the contract, Solid Civil Designs will perform field surveys and will prepare roadway plans for the project.

“We are so excited. It has been a long time coming,” Childers said, noting work on the project is scheduled to start after the surveys and road plans are completed. “It’s a Helena engineering firm too, so we are excited about that as well.”

Once completed, the road will help alleviate traffic congestion along Alabama 261 through the heart of the city, including Old Town Helena. The bypass will span the Cahaba River, and will travel over railroad tracks in the city.

“There won’t be any railroad tracks involved on the new road,” Childers said, noting three sets of railroad tracks run through Old Town Helena. “It’s going to make a huge difference.”

Childers said Helena Mayor Sonny Penhale was “really happy” to hear about the progress on the project.

“Mayor Penhale wants to thank all the hard work of so many people helping to make this happen,” read a Helena news release.