County approves County Road 47 widening, additional turn lane

Published 11:57 am Monday, June 10, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – Frequent travelers of Highway 280 in Chelsea will soon find it a little easier to access the Chelsea Corners Way shopping area after the construction of a second turn lane on Hwy 280 westbound and an extra lane on County Road 47 south.

The Shelby County Commission awarded a bid in the total of $561,095.65 to the lowest response bidder, Massey Asphalt Paving, LLC, for a County Road 47 widening project during a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 10.

“A good number of cars that turn off of 280—either eastbound or westbound but mostly westbound—are headed toward Highway 11,” Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer said. “And so, this will give them a dedicated lane (where they can) get off of 280 onto 47 and 11 without impeding all the traffic going to all the neighborhoods.”

Currently, for residents traveling westbound on Highway 280 at the CR 47 and McDonald’s intersection, there is only one lane for turning left onto CR 47.

“We’re going to add a second lane for about 1,000 feet, so that we can get two lines of cars coming off of 280, making that left (onto) 47,” County Engineer David Willingham said. “It works out because about half the cars that are making that left want to go to Chelsea Corners Way. So, we’re going get them to Chelsea Corners Way and then they can drop off and then we’ll go back to one lane.”

Improvement will also be made to the access area next to the new American Family Care and the Shell gas station on CR 47.

“We’re moving that driveway to get it a little further from U.S. 280, so that when you’re trying to pull out of there, you got a little more distance to see that car coming at you off of 280,” Willingham said. “(And) it aligns it with the drive that comes out of the Winn Dixie lot closest to 280.”

Additionally, travelers turning right out of Chelsea Corners Way will have an easier time accessing CR 47 south.

The County Road 47 widening project will be funded through a split between Shelby County, the city of Chelsea and the Alabama Department of Transportation with each entity contributing $200,000 for a total of $600,000.

In other news, the Shelby County Commission approved the following items on the agenda:

  • A resolution to award a bid for turbidimeters to the only responsive bidder, Core and Main LP
  • A resolution to award the bid for a 2023/2024 one ton pickup truck to the lowest responsive bidder, Donohoo Chevrolet
  • A resolution to award a bid for the Vincent Community Safe Room project to the lowest responsive bidder, Aqua Marine Enterprises, Inc