Highway 119 widening project progressing

Alabaster and ALDOT are preparing to install a new traffic light at the Alabama 119-Shelby County 80 intersection in advance of an Alabama 119 widening project. (Contributed)

Alabaster and ALDOT are preparing to install a new traffic light at the Alabama 119-Shelby County 80 intersection in advance of an Alabama 119 widening project. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster, Alabama Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Department officials recently held a kickoff meeting for a project to widen Alabama 119 between Shelby County 26 and Shelby County 80, and are planning to begin studies on the project soon.

In an email, Alabaster City Manager George Henry said the agencies met in early December to kick off the widening project, and said environmental studies are set to begin on the project “very soon.”

In 2012, the state approved about $10 million in funding to four-lane the section of Alabama 119 through its Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program. No completion date has been set for the widening project.

During its Dec. 16 meeting, the Alabaster City Council voted to approve an agreement with ALDOT to install traffic lights at the intersection of Alabama 119 and Shelby County 80. Through the agreement, ALDOT will provide $450,727 and Alabaster will provide $222,000 to purchase and install the new traffic signals.

City officials previously said the signals will help to alleviate frequent congestion at the intersection, particularly for those living in Wynlake and other subdivisions on Shelby County 80.

Henry previously said crews have already relocated some utility lines to accommodate the installation of the new traffic signals, and said the signals will be installed with the future widening project in mind.

On Dec. 12, Henry said construction on the widening project likely will begin in about “24-36 months.” The new traffic signals at the Alabama 119-Shelby County 80 intersection are scheduled to be completed in about 180 days, Henry said.