Alabaster moves on 119 widening project

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

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

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Work likely will begin on a project to widen Alabama 119 south of its intersection with Fulton Springs Road in Alabaster within two years after the Alabaster City Council took the next step on the project during an Aug. 4 meeting.

The council voted unanimously during the meeting to spend $30,740 to match $122,960 in federal funds to pay for a topographic survey and corridor study on the widening project. The Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood engineering firm will conduct the studies.

Alabaster City Manager George Henry said the studies likely will be completed in January or February of 2015, and said they will determine what the widened road will look like and where the widening project will stop.

“Sometime next spring, we will start with the second phase of the project, which will be the right-of-way acquisition and engineering,” Henry said during a pre-meeting work session. “In two years, give or take, you should see some dirt moving.”

Henry said the corridor study will determine a “natural terminus point” for the widening project, and said it could be farther south than the Alabama 119-Shelby County 80 intersection.

“This is the first step of many that will expand 119,” Council President Scott Brakefield said during the meeting. “Hopefully, the farther down toward Montevallo we can get, the better.

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 being installed.