County Engineer reflects on proposed U.S. 280 changes
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
COLUMBIANA – County Engineer Randy Cole updated the County Commission on the Alabama Department of Transportation public U.S. 280 involvement meeting Nov. 19 during a Dec. 10 County Commission meeting.
“Some folks love it, some folks hate it,” Cole said of the proposed changes to U.S. 280. “ALDOT is coming to a conclusion on public comment.”
Cole said ALDOT plans to implement the changes, which include modified traffic signals and eliminated left turns onto the highway, by this time next year.
“I think it’s ambitious, but you’ll see a lot going on out there,” Cole said. “Hopefully we’ll see some relief by this time next year, but don’t expect miracles.”
County Manager Alex Dudchock said with some of the left turns eliminated from intersections, the lines of traffic on access roads will be longer. For example, ALDOT plans to eliminate the left turn from Valleydale Road onto U.S. 280.
According to Cole, three areas that were “conspicuously absent” during the public involvement meeting were U.S. 280’s intersections with Interstate 459, Rocky Ridge Road and Alabama 119.
“They wanted to show what they could do by next year,” Cole said. “They couldn’t do (some projects) in a year.”
As Trinity Medical Center is working to move to the former HealthSouth building on U.S. 280, the hospital could cause additional traffic issues.
Cole said since the hospital will be under construction, it is “not obvious how to access the hospital,” so modifications to the highway may be postponed until the hospital is nearer completion.