Preliminary work underway on Hoover road-widening project

Published 12:31 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

HOOVER – Travelers on Hoover’s roadways have likely noticed signs of roadwork along Valleydale Road, specifically along the section that runs between Caldwell Mill Road and Business Center Drive. That work represents preliminary steps toward a project that will see Valleydale Road widened from its current two-lane system to a five-line system.

Currently, Alabama Power has begun the relocation of transmission lines and other services ahead of the road widening project’s construction. However, the work that is currently visible represents only the earliest stages of physical preparation toward the major steps yet to come.

“Right now, Alabama Power is only working on the non-reimbursable work, which means that they will not be reimbursed for (these current) relocations,” said Blake Miller, assistant city engineer for the city of Hoover. The utility project, where you’ll see the rest of those utilities being relocated, has not be authorized yet by ALDOT, (the Alabama Department of Transportation). It is (currently) going through ALDOT’s process.”

According to Miller, there is still work to be done in the securing of multiple areas of right-of-way before the project and subsequent work can proceed. Those areas and their procurement are crucial and often result in lengthy processes for any transportation or infrastructure project.

Securing those right-of-way areas involves the acquisition of an easement, right-of-way access across private property or even the outright purchase of the land needed for the project.

“It is going to take a while to do this,” Miller said. “There is still a little bit of right-of-way that needs to be purchased before ALDOT will authorize the reimbursable work for the rest of the utilities on that project.”

According to Miller, the utility relocation project will be able to proceed upon ALDOT’s approval following the right-of-way procurements. Only after the utility project’s work will the bidding process for road construction begin.

Based on current estimates, it could take approximately two years’ worth of work to complete utility relocations once the project is authorized and allowed to begin.

“Once we get to the construction, it will be phased into two phases,” Miller said. “That first phase will be starting on the Caldwell Mill (Road) end. I don’t have an estimate on when that will be. We will open bids on that portion, but it will be after all of the utilities have been relocated.”