County approves its portion of initial 261 improvement project costs

COLUMBIANA – A project to widen and improve portions of Alabama 261 and Valleydale Road near the intersection with U.S. 31 may finally be gaining traction.

The Shelby County Commission approved at its meeting on Monday, Oct. 14, to spend $158,000 for a portion of the engineering fees necessary to begin the project.

The need for widening of the Alabama 261 to relieve congestion in the area has been discussed since at least 2009.

The Alabama Department of Transportation, Shelby County and the cities of Helena, Hoover and Pelham are all expected to cooperate on the project, Shelby County Engineer Randy Cole told the Commission.

Shelby County, Hoover and Pelham are expected to each contributed $158,000 for the engineering fees, and Helena officials have expressed interest in participating in the construction phase.

The portion of roadway to be improved includes Alabama 261 from U.S. 31 to Braswell Street.

The entire project could cost about $30 million.

In other business, the Commission:

  • Approved reassigning the county’s contract with WastePro for waste collection services to Republic Services, which plans to acquire WastePro’s Birmingham assets. Chief Development Officer Chad Scroggins said the county could re-bid the contract but has been generally pleased with WastePro’s service and expects Republic to provide comparable if not better service because of the scale of the operation. “It’s a favorable situation,” Scroggins said.
  • Heard from Cole that bids have been approved for projects to replace a bridge on Shelby County 52 over the Cahaba River in Helena and for improvements to the intersection of Shelby County 52 and Shelby County 93, also in Helena. The bids approved were for $6.6 million submitted by Wright Brothers Construction and $983,000 submitted by Chilton Contractors, respectively.
  • Approved an update to the Shelby County Emergency Operation Plan.