Pelham could add turn lane to Lee Street
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
Pelham leaders are looking at possibly adding a right turn lane on Lee Street to address a longtime traffic bottleneck, and authorized engineering services for the project during a July 1 City Council meeting.
During the meeting, the City Council voted to pay Gonzalez-Strength and Associates $7,000 to fund land surveying and roadway design services for a possible right turn lane from Lee Street to Shelby County 52.
During heavy traffic times, cars back up on Lee Street whenever a vehicle is attempting to turn left onto Shelby County 52. Many drivers attempting to turn right onto Shelby County 52 travel off the roadway and through the grass, said City Council President Rick Hayes.
“It’s definitely a bottleneck area, and it has been for quite some time,” Hayes said, noting Pelham Mayor Gary Waters brought the turn lane proposal to the council. “That pothole keeps on getting bigger where people are trying to turn right.”
If added, the right turn lane would allow vehicles to turn right onto Shelby County 52 while bypassing vehicles waiting to turn left onto the road.
Because the Lee Street-Shelby County 52 intersection is sandwiched between a pair of railroad crossings, Pelham used a “railroad-preferred” engineering firm to conduct the engineering and design studies, Hayes said.
“We will look at the results of the engineering study and see what we can do about it,” Hayes said. “I think the project would make sense.”