Next step approved for Thompson Road widening project

Published 4:48 pm Monday, August 10, 2015

The next step was approved for the Thompson Road widening and bridge repair project at the Aug. 10 Shelby County Commission meeting. (File)

The next step was approved for the Thompson Road widening and bridge repair project at the Aug. 10 Shelby County Commission meeting. (File)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA–Another step was approved in the Shelby County 264 widening and bridge repair project scheduled to take place near Thompson High School, as the Shelby County Commission approved a resolution that approved the initial right-of-way acquisition plans on Monday, Aug. 10.

County Engineer Randy Cole addressed the Shelby County Commission about the resolution and explained the details of the project.

“That is a bridge and road project on Thompson Road over near the existing Thompson High School near Warrior Drive going back out toward (Alabama) 119,” said Cole. “

No timeline for construction or a completion date has been set for the project, and Cole said the approval was just one of the steps that needed to happen to keep the project going.

“Before we can acquire right-of-way and money on that, we need the legal blessing so that’s all it was,” said Cole. “They approved right-of-way acquisition. We’re just moving on down the checklist of things.”

The entire project will include widening Shelby County 264, known as Thompson Road, beginning at Alabama 119 to Warrior Drive. The widening will allow for additional turn lanes and right-of-ways.

The other phase of the project will be to replace the bridge on Thompson Road that runs above Buck Creek. Cole also added that a sidewalk will be constructed that would run from Larry Simmons Stadium to a parking lot across from Warrior Drive.

The resolution approved by the Shelby County Commission stated, “that the existing easements, right-of-ways, highways and bridges within Shelby County located at and crossing Buck Creek on Shelby County 264 are insufficient to provide for and allow the safe and convenient passage to the public and to the citizens of Shelby County.”

Cole said the funding for the project will be 80 percent federal funding and the county will fund the remaining 20 percent.

Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock said he was excited for the project because of what it would mean for the Buck Creek Trail.

“The exciting thing about that is when we do the bridge replacement, we will be able to continue Buck Creek Trail and make the next leg connection to what is now Thompson High School,” said Dudchock.

Once completed, the widened road will help to handle traffic traveling to and from Alabaster’s new high school, which is set to open in 2017.