Highway 119 widening right-of-way acquisition to begin next year

 

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A project to widen Alabama 119 in Alabaster south of its intersection with Fulton Springs Road will progress into the right-of-way acquisition phase if the Alabama Department of Transportation approves the project’s design during a January meeting, according to Alabaster leaders.

Alabaster City Manager Brian Binzer gave City Council members an update on the project during a Dec. 7 work session, which came several months after the council voted to approve a $325,076 engineering fee for the Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood engineering firm to design the widening project.

Binzer said Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood has designed 60 percent of the project, which is the threshold required to present the plans to ALDOT.

“We are still going forward full steam ahead on this project. We are at a point now where we have set up a meeting with ALDOT in January,” Binzer said. “Once ALDOT gives its blessing, we will move into actual right-of-way acquisition.”

Binzer said the city must acquire about 40 pieces of property along the 119 corridor to allow the project to begin construction, and estimated the acquisition phase will take between nine and 12 months after beginning in mid-2018.

Because the project is using federal dollars, the city must have all right-of-way in hand before construction can begin, Binzer said.

In 2014, the council approved a contract with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood to conduct a topographic survey and corridor study for a project to widen Alabama 119 from its intersection with Fulton Springs Road to just south of Veterans Park. Plans call for the road to be widened to five lanes – Two travel lanes in each direction and a center turn lane – along the nearly two-mile stretch.

In 2012, the state approved about $10 million in funding to widen the section of Alabama 119 through its Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program. Initial plans call for a 10-foot-wide multi-use path along one side of the road.

“We are just as anxious as anyone is to get this done,” Binzer said. “It’s long overdue.”