Traffic light planned for Alabama 70/Shelby County 26

By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – An agreement has been reached between the city of Columbiana, Shelby County and the Alabama Department of Transportation to build a new traffic light at the intersections of Alabama 70 and Shelby County 26.

Mayor Stancil Handley said the idea has been in the works for about a year now because of land near that intersection that could develop into a subdivision.

In order for ALDOT to agree to build a traffic light at the intersection, Handley said other things needed to happen as well, including making “a turn lane from Alabaster, an acceleration lane into Columbiana, a turn lane from Columbiana to 26 and making 26 a three-lane back to the top of the hill.”

Handley said these things are expensive, but an agreement has been reached between the city, county and transportation department to fund it. Handley received the paperwork in his hands Thursday and credits ALDOT district manager Gary Ray with helping him partner with ALDOT to make the new interchange a reality.

“Our job is to do what we can to bring about improvements in intersections and roadways,” Ray said. “We’ve been pursuing this for over a year now, and it is where it is today because of what these other entities have agreed to participate. It’s all of us working together to make these kinds of improvements.”

Handley and Ray said ALDOT is in the process of hiring engineers now to work on the project, and Ray said he hoped a project would be led to contract there by 2014.