Fulton Springs extension opening date set
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Drivers soon will have a more direct route to travel from U.S. 31 to Alabama 119, as the newly paved Fulton Springs Road extension is set to open to traffic in late October.
The extension will open to traffic beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31, city officials announced on Oct. 19. Signage at the new intersection of U.S. 31 and Fulton Springs Road also contains information about the opening date.
Once the extension opens, the traffic signals at the Fulton Springs-U.S. 31 intersection will go live, and the traffic signals at the intersection of U.S. 31-Old Highway 31 will be deactivated. Two new stop signs will be added at the intersection of Old Highway 31 and Fulton Springs Road for traffic traveling north and south on Old Highway 31. Traffic on Fulton Springs Road will not stop at the intersection.
In early July, crews made intersection improvements at the upcoming Fulton Springs Road-U.S. 31 intersection to serve the extension of Fulton Springs Road. Curbing and foundation work for the extension have been completed, and crews have already paved a small portion of the roadway near the new intersection.
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 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.
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.