Alabaster finalizes Fulton Springs Road extension project
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – The City Council gave its final sign-off on a recently completed project to connect Fulton Springs Road with U.S. 31 during a recent meeting.
During its Jan. 22 meeting, the council voted unanimously to approve a change order on the project, through which the city agreed to pay an additional $232,556 to the Chilton Contractors company in addition to the original $1.3 million bid the council approved in August 2016. The cost of the original bid was offset by $185,000 in funding from the Alabama Department of Transportation and $120,000 in funding from the Shelby County Highway Department.
The new section of road, which allows traffic to travel directly from U.S. 31 to Fulton Springs Road without turning onto Old Highway 31, opened to traffic on Oct. 31, 2017.
The extra money approved in the change order accounted for additional work the contractor did to excavate unsuitable soils discovered while crews were working to build the roadway.
Through the project, the Alabama Department of Transportation installed new traffic signals at the new Fulton Springs-U.S. 31 intersection and took down the traffic signals at the old U.S. 31-Old Highway 31 intersection. Two new stop signs were 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 now does not stop at the intersection.
Crews also extended the grass median over the former U.S. 31-Old Highway 31 intersection, meaning traffic on Old Highway 31 can only turn right onto U.S. 31.
Before the Fulton Springs extension was completed, drivers traveling from Fulton Springs Road to U.S. 31 had to turn onto Old Highway 31 to access U.S. 31.
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. A portion of the line of credit covered the cost of the Fulton Springs extension project.