Council approves spending for road improvement, expansion

The Pelham City Council approved spending to add a right turn lane from Lee Street onto Shelby County 52. (Contributed)

The Pelham City Council approved spending to add a right turn lane from Lee Street onto Shelby County 52. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham City Council approved $36,998 for the construction of a right turn lane from Lee Street onto Shelby County 52 during an Aug. 18 City Council meeting.

The work will require the closing of Lee Street, but Pelham Director of Public Works Eddy Jowers confirmed much of the work will be done “at night and on Saturday.” Jowers also estimated the entire project will take between one and two weeks to complete.

“The only time it (Lee Street) will be closed will be after hours,” Jowers said during an Aug. 18 City Council work session. “It shouldn’t be more than a week or two at the very most… six work nights.”

Traffic often backs up on Lee Street when a vehicle is attempting to make a left turn onto Shelby County 52, especially during heavy traffic times. The right turn lane will allow vehicles turning right to bypass those waiting to make the left turn, alleviating some of the backed up traffic.

Birmingham-based Gonzalez-Strength & Associates, Inc. will provide engineering services for the project and Alabaster-based W.R. Boothe Excavating, Inc. will handle the construction.

The Pelham City Council also approved spending $243,000 to expand the practice arena at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena. The plans for expansion include extending the western wall of the facility and telescopic, electric seating.

“We’re trying to push the seating capacity as much as we possibly can over there,” Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena Director Danny Tate said, noting the Pelham Civic Complex is scheduled to host both the SEC Hockey Championship Tournament and the Division III Hockey National Championship.

“This whole project is to expand the practice arena to allow for a better environment,” Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes said, adding the practice arena currently does not have any seating. “(The expansion) will allow this facility to be used at a much higher level than it is today.”