Improvements, additions coming to public shooting range

An improved Cahaba Wildlife Management Area public shooting range should open this spring.

The range, which is located off Shelby County 91 near Helena, has been closed since the September 2016 gas leak in the area.

Spill remediation is winding down, but the range will remain closed for an additional two or three months while improvements are made, according to Chad Scroggins, manager of Shelby County Development Services.

The targeted re-opening date is May 2017.

Once re-opened, the site will offer visitors improvements to the existing 100-yard range and the addition of 25-yard and 50-yard ranges.

Improvements to the existing 100-yard range will include a concrete walkway and a covered concrete shooting shelter with benches.

The 100-yard range will have six stations, and the 25-yard and 50-yard ranges, which are adjacent to each other, will have a combined 10 stations with a shelter and benches.

New gravel parking will be installed to serve both ranges and will include handicap accessible parking.

Scroggins said work will begin as soon as the county receives final approval from the state, which is expected in the coming days.

The project is estimated to cost about $153,000.

Shelby County will seek bids and manage the project, and then be reimbursed fully by the Alabama Department of Conservation, Scroggins said.

The range could see more use because of the improvements and additions, and as more people find out about the resource, Scroggins said.

“We just need more folks to know a little more about it,” he said.

The only requirement for access to the public shooting range is a Wildlife Management Area access permit, which costs $17.45 for a year and can be obtained by calling 1-888-848-6887 or visiting AlabamaInteractive.org/dcnr_license/welcome.action.