Alabaster moves forward with Fulton Springs extension

Alabaster is working with the Alabama Department of Transportation and Shelby County to extend Fulton Springs Road from its current terminus at Old Highway 31, pictured, to U.S. 31. (File)

Alabaster is working with the Alabama Department of Transportation and Shelby County to extend Fulton Springs Road from its current terminus at Old Highway 31, pictured, to U.S. 31. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Crews likely will begin work to extend Fulton Springs Road from its current terminus at Old Highway 31 to U.S. 31 slightly south of the South Promenade shopping center in late July after the Alabaster City Council recently approved an agreement to install a traffic light at the new intersection.

Council members voted during a May 23 meeting to enter into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation to design and install a traffic light at the intersection of Fulton Springs Road and U.S. 31 once the road extension project is completed.

In late December 2015, Alabaster City Manager George Henry said Alabaster and Shelby County representatives met with the Alabama Department of Transportation to review the plan to extend the road.

Henry said once ALDOT approves the final plan for the project, crews likely will begin working on the site in July.

Drivers traveling from Fulton Springs Road to U.S. 31 currently must turn onto Old Highway 31 to access U.S. 31. Once completed, the extension project will directly connect Fulton Springs Road with U.S. 31, and will move the traffic signal from the Old Highway 31-U.S. 31 intersection to the Fulton Springs Road-U.S. 31 intersection.

In October 2011, the Montgomery-based Aronov company announced plans to build a 300,000-square-foot Alabaster Exchange shopping center on the property off U.S. 31. Construction plans called for the new shopping center to be about the same size as the South Promenade shopping center.

However, in March 2014, Aronov stepped away from the project after it was unable to attract a large retailer to anchor the proposed shopping center.

In February 2014, the Alabaster City Council voted to enter into a temporary $2.5 million line of credit with Central State Bank for “economic development purposes” on a portion of the proposed Alabaster Exchange land. The city used a portion of the money to purchase a few tracts of land on the property, which it plans to use to extend Fulton Springs Road.

City officials previously said they are continuing to work to attract developers interested in constructing a retail development on the property south of the South Promenade shopping center, and said extending Fulton Springs Road through to U.S. 31 will allow easier access to the property.