Highway Department seeks input on Thompson Road project

The Shelby County Highway Department is seeking public comment on a project to widen a portion of Thompson Road between Warrior Drive and Alabama 119. (File)

The Shelby County Highway Department is seeking public comment on a project to widen a portion of Thompson Road between Warrior Drive and Alabama 119. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Shelby County Highway Department is seeking input on a project to widen Thompson Road between its intersections with Warrior Drive and Alabama 119, and is taking public comments on the plan through March 25.

Through the project, Alabaster is working with the Shelby County Highway Department and the Alabama Department of Transportation to widen the road, replace a bridge over Buck Creek and realign the intersection of Thompson Road and Warrior Drive to allow drivers to travel straight from Warrior Drive into a parking lot at Warrior Park.

The project will add a new westbound turn lane on Thompson Road from Stadium Drive to Warrior Drive and add a sidewalk along Thompson Road from Warrior Drive to Stadium Drive.

Because the project will require about 0.7 acres currently inside Alabaster’s Warrior Park, the Shelby County Highway Department is planning to apply for federal “de minimis” status to allow the land to be used for the widening project.

The 0.7 acres currently are along the north shoulder of Thompson Road.

“An impact to a park or recreational area may be determined de minimis if the transportation use of the (land) resource does not adversely affect the activities, features and attributes of the park or recreational area,” read a letter from Shelby County Engineer Kenneth Cole to Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon. “We … understand that area need for the road widening is not used for parking or other activities related to the use of the baseball fields and batting cages.

“Shelby County will keep the right of way acquisition to the minimum amount required for the roadway improvements,” read the letter.

The Shelby County Highway Department is seeking public input on the project and the proposed right-of-way acquisition. To review project plans, visit Shelbyal.com/DocumentCenter/View/645.

Written comments on the project should be mailed to Mr. Kenneth R. Cole, P.E., County Engineer, Shelby County Highway Department, 506 Highway 70, Columbiana, Ala., 35051.

All comments must be received by March 25.