Pelham council OKs road-widening services for Amphitheater Road

Published 3:37 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019

PELHAM – At Pelham City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 18, the council approved a contract with Gonzalez-Strength and Associates for conceptual design services along Amphitheater Road.

According to the guidelines of the $6,000 contract, the Hoover-based company will prepare concept drawings and cost estimates for two alternatives to widen Amphitheater Road from two lanes to four lanes along a half mile stretch from west of the amphitheater to the intersection with State Park Road.

Amphitheater Road has four lanes from U.S. 31 to the amphitheater’s main parking lot entrance, and then it drops down to two lanes.

The city leaders have said before that Amphitheater Road needs to be widened because of safety concerns and increased traffic on the road, but with a new development in the works for the area, widening the road has become a more pressing issue.

At a special called meeting on Oct. 18, the council approved an amendment changing zoning from A-1 (agricultural district) and O&I (office and institutional) to R-A (apartment dwelling district) and B-2 (general business district) for applicant John Brenner, with Birmingham-based Genrev Development.

Developers Jordy Henson and Brenner outlined plans to invest more than $50 million into the construction of a mixed-use retail, commercial and residential project located on about 38 acres of land on Amphitheater Road across from the Pelham Civic Complex.

According to the city, a traffic study funded by the developers suggests that about 65 percent of their traffic will access the development via State Park Road and Amphitheater Road, through the two-lane section.

The conceptual drawing will determine how best to widen the roadway and how much right-of-way will be needed.

In October 2018, the developers said the retail area of the development would consist of 40,000 to 50,000 square feet of destination eateries and shops. The residential component would consist of about 240 apartment units.

Brenner said Oak Mountain State Park was the driving factor behind the development and that walkability is a major draw for young professionals. The development garnered mixed reviews from residents, with most concerned about how the development would impact traffic in the area.