Highway 119 widening on schedule

Alabama 119 currently shrinks from four lanes to two lanes at its intersection with Shelby County 26 near the Publix shopping center. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Alabama 119 currently shrinks from four lanes to two lanes at its intersection with Shelby County 26 near the Publix shopping center. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A plan to widen Alabama 119 between Shelby County 26 and Shelby County 80 in Alabaster is in the design phase, and is on track to be completed in the next few years.

Alabaster City Manager George Henry confirmed the project currently is in the engineering design and environmental study phase, which must be completed before the project moves into the property acquisition phase.

Once completed, the project will widen Alabama 119 south of the Publix shopping center.

In February, the Alabaster City Council approved an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation to begin corridor and engineering studies on the widening project.

Through the agreement, Alabaster will pay $200,000 to match $800,000 in federal grant funds to pay for the engineering and corridor studies before moving on to the property acquisition phase of the project.

After the property acquisition phase, construction likely will take about 36 months, city leaders said previously.

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.

In December 2013, the 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. The signals currently are under construction, and likely will be completed by August, Henry said.