ALDOT: Community supports 119 widening
Published 4:57 pm Friday, December 4, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – The Alabama Department of Transportation received only comments of support for a plan to widen Alabama 119 south of the Publix shopping center in Alabaster during a Dec. 3 public input session on the project, according to ALDOT officials.
About 25 local residents attended the three-hour public input session, which was held at Alabaster City Hall, said ALDOT representative Sandra Bonner. Comments received during the session and by mail have all been in support of the project, Bonner said.
During the public meeting, ALDOT provided details and maps of the proposed project, which would widen Alabama 119 to five lanes between its intersection with Fulton Springs Road to just south of Veterans Park.
During an October City Council work session, Godowyn, Mills and Cawood representative Keith Strickland said the corridor, topographic survey and route study are finalized, and said the corridor study could be approved by the federal Highway Department in the first quarter of 2016.
The preliminary design places only three houses within the footprint of the widening project, meaning those properties likely would eventually have to be purchased and demolished to make way for the widening.
During the public input session, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood representative Doug Seagle said the company was planning to collect the public comments and submit them to the Federal Highway Department to consider as it determines if it will approve the corridor study for the project.
“This is a pretty important part of the process right here,” Seagle said. “We haven’t had any complaints about the project. The biggest complaint seems to be ‘Why hasn’t this been done already?’”
Seagle said if the corridor study is approved, right-of-way acquisition could begin as early as summer of 2016.
Among those voicing support for the project during the meeting was Alabaster resident Rob Richardson, who said he is in favor of adding bike lanes and sidewalks along the road.
“I’m pleased that the design doesn’t disrupt many businesses or homes,” Richardson said. “Thankfully, residential building is picking back up, which makes this project even more important.”