Fulton Springs extension moving forward

 

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Crews are wrapping up a project to install a new traffic signal at an upcoming new intersection on U.S. 31 slightly south of the South Promenade shopping center, and the new road is on track to open later this year.

In early July, crews began working to make intersection improvements at the upcoming Fulton Springs Road-U.S. 31 intersection to serve the extension of Fulton Springs Road.

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.

The Chilton Contractors company has already laid the foundation and curbing for the road, which will provide drivers on U.S. 31 a more direct route to Alabama 119 via Fulton Springs Road.

One telecommunications utility line is still running through the property, and is being relocated to allow the project, which is being directed by the Shelby County Highway Department, to be completed.

Alabaster City Manager Brian Binzer said the project is on track to be completed this fall.

In August 2016, the Alabaster City Council voted to accept an about $1.3 million bid from Chilton Contractors to complete the project.

The cost to the city will be offset by $185,000 in funding from the Alabama Department of Transportation and $120,000 in funding from the Shelby County Highway Department, meaning the city will pay about $995,000 on the project.

The city’s Water Department is also completing about $185,000 in improvements to the area surrounding the project.

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 currently undeveloped land between Old Highway 31 and U.S. 31.

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.

Handlon said the city’s funding for constructing the roadway extension is coming from a portion of the line of credit.