Traffic signal, turn lanes to be added to U.S. 31 in Pelham

By BRIANA HARRIS / Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Gary Waters to execute an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for road improvements and the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Pelham Park Boulevard at its meeting on Monday, Dec. 5.

The council also approved a $30,000 agreement with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood for engineering services related to the project.

Pelham Mayor Gary Waters said the traffic signal will be placed at the intersection in front of the new Pelham Park Middle School on U.S. 31 and turn lanes will be added at the signal in the north and southbound lanes.

Waters said the city is moving forward with the project to ensure that it is completed prior to the opening of the new school, which is expected to open for the 2017-18 school year.

The 120,000-square-foot building will house about 750 sixth- through eighth-grade students. The entire project will cost about $23 million.

Waters said the goal is for the project to be finished by summer 2017.

The intersection doesn’t meet ALDOT’s conventional standards for permitting the installation of a traffic signal, but ALDOT approved the signal because of safety concerns related to the school.

Pelham Park Middle School will have a contemporary design that features brick, stone and faux wood. There will be two outdoor courtyards, interior graphics, 29 classrooms and four lab areas. The media center will have the flexibility to transform into a large meeting space.

The school also features a computer storage room, a room for professional development, a gymnasium/auditorium, weight room, locker rooms, career tech spaces, kitchen/cafeteria and more.