Commission OKs safety improvements on Highway 26

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A project to make safety improvements along a main corridor between Alabaster and Columbiana is now ready to move forward, after the Shelby County Commission approved an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation during a March 25 meeting.

Commission members voted unanimously during the meeting to approve the finalized agreement providing matching funds for an ALDOT High Risk Rural Roads Program project on Shelby County 26.

Shelby County Engineer Randy Cole said the project will affect the portion of the road from Walker Run in Alabaster to Alabama 70 in Columbiana, and will include clearing some trees from the right-of-way to improve visibility, scoring the outer edges of the road and improving striping on the road’s surface.

A stipulation of the grant required the funds to be used outside of an “urban boundary,” and only required a 10-percent funding match rather than the 20-percent match most similar grants require.

The grant will be about $75,000, meaning the county will only have to provide $7,500 in matching funds.

Cole said the project’s goal is to cut down on the number and severity of wrecks on the two-lane roadway, which serves as the main thoroughfare from Alabaster to Columbiana.