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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2009, 7:33 AM
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Alabama Road and Highway Updates

Use this thread to update everyone on the ongoing road and highway construction, proposals too, going on around the state.

Notice a project starting? Post it!
Notice a project finishing up? Post it!
Notice a project stalling...? Post it! begrudgingly...

I'll start off.


My mom and I drove down to Panama City Beach today, so I got a good dose of interstate construction. Here are some updates:

Decatur

I-65 near Lacon

Improvements to the bridges over the creek near the Lacon exit are ongoing. I'm not sure exactly how they plan to improve them, cause I don't recall an official announcement. But, it is obvious that they're going to resurface the bridges in some way. I'm sure a lot of people know that it's pretty scary to go over those things at high speeds...

I-65 Tennessee River Bridges

I'm not sure if the weather monitoring system on the bridge is complete yet, but it sure looks like it.

Cullman

Widening of road crossing I-65

The new overpass is complete. It appears like we're still waiting on the widening of the rest of the road for the construction zone to be removed.

North Birmingham

I-20/59 lighting replacement

It seems that much of the work is finished. I noticed that the lights on the eastbound lanes were one and working fine.

I-65 widening north of the Junction

Most of the overpass-work is completed, but they are still working on replacing the decks of the older, original overpasses in the center.

It looked like they were beginning to construct a new off-ramp from I-65 Southbound to Finley Boulevard.

So far, everything looks like it is on schedule. We should start seeing interchange construction beginning in December. I'm looking forward to it.

I-65 Resurfacing

I read an article a few days ago on ALDOT bidding out the resurfacing project between, I believe, Fieldstown and Walkers Chapel? I can't really remember. Someone correct me if they remember.

Over The Mountain, Jefferson

I-65 Work

I'm sure most have heard, stimulus money has been granted to landscaping of the interchange with I-65 and Montgomery Highway in Vestavia. Also, the MPO recently approved the reconstruction of the lanes between Montgomery Highway and the I-459 interchange (what I called the OTM interchange).

West Shelby

I-65 Widening

Work continues on the much needed widening of I-65 from Valleydale to Alabaster. The road is looking MUCH more attractive and modern with the concrete walls being used to compact the roadway.

South Shelby/North Chilton

I-65 buffer creation

Work continues on the Northbound side of I-65 on the buffers to the east of the roadway. They're clearing out trees and replacing it with grass to allow for a more safe and open roadway.

Montgomery

I-65 widening

Work is ongoing from basically the Alabama River bridge on south. I can't remember exactly where the widening ends south of I-85 cause I never make it down there. So someone please post that if you know.

Eastern Boulevard

Work on overpasses is still ongoing.

Enterprise

Boll Weevil Circle widening

Work is ongoing. Work is taking place starting just south of where AL 167 leaves the Circle for Hartford. I know that widening is taking place AT LEAST to where the road to Geneva hits the circle.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2009, 7:57 AM
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Good thread

The I65 project in Montgomery streches from Highway 80 on the southside to the river bridge. I honestly think they should have gone with a solid 4 lanes, but space may have some constraints on that possibility.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2009, 4:20 AM
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I keep tabs of upcoming projects by checking out the "Project Letting" notices on ALDOT's website.

A few things of interest from July and August include:

Widening of I-20 between Moody and Pell City was let in July. Link

Improvements to 14th Street are being let in August Link

No indication yet that the I-22 Connector has been let. I guess we'll just have to wait and see?
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2009, 7:43 AM
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Hmm, I didn't know about that part of the site, thanx for the tip Bravo!
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2009, 12:41 AM
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I haven't heard anything lately about the 20/59 widening project. I thought they were starting on the section in Cottondale months ago but that was just some project to strengthen the embankment. Right now they are repaving 20/59 through Tuscaloosa, but there are no indications they will be starting the widening anytime soon.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2009, 8:36 AM
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I hope that after widening 20/59 between Moody and Pell City that they raise the speed limit on that stretch back to 70.
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2009, 6:20 PM
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59 doesn't go to Pell City. 20/59 joins in Meridian & splits in Birmingham with 59 going to Gadsden. Just FYI.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2009, 9:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogue View Post
59 doesn't go to Pell City. 20/59 joins in Meridian & splits in Birmingham with 59 going to Gadsden. Just FYI.
My bad, I was too busy reading a previous post to realize my obvious mistake.
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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2009, 6:35 AM
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Enterprise

From the Enterprise Ledger: Michelle Mann

Quote:
Published: August 6, 2009

More than a half-million dollars in road resurfacing projects were unanimously approved by the Coffee County Commission at a called meeting Tuesday.
Three projects planned to start in about a month, Coffee County Engineer Randy Tindell said. The first project is resurfacing of County Road 368 from Alabama Road 166 to County Road 364 at an estimated cost of $230,000.
Resurfacing County Road 709 from Alabama Road 167 to Alabama Road 134 is estimated to cost $337,620, Tindell said.
An emergency repair for 48-inch pipe on County Road 474, estimated to cost $14,000, was also approved by commissioners.
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2009, 4:02 PM
ttownfeen ttownfeen is offline
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I was driving to Cottondale a few days ago and noticed that they were widening Buttermilk Road from the interstate down to past Bryant High school. I believe this is supposed to be part of eastern bypass of Tuscaloosa, which is being held up currently be disputes over the section of the road that will cross Hurricane Creek.

I don't understand why the state isn't pitching anything into the Tuscaloosa loop project. The western bypass was a built jointly by the Northport, Tuscaloosa and the county, while the bridge carrying it over the Black Warrior River was privately-built. Well, I guess that state had to build the interchange with 20/59 west of Tuscaloosa.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2009, 4:40 AM
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Can't wait to have an excuse to travel Hwy (County Road 113, Escambia County, Alabama). That is a newly paved Hurricane evacuation road for Pensacola. Paved to 4 lanes.

I don't know why Alabama spent the money to do it to tell you the truth. Florida has shown little to no interest in helping Pensacolians leave town for devestating hurricanes. Hwy 29 isn't 6 lanes. Or 8. You connect to a part of Florida that doesn't care how many people die caught in traffic. Yet you spend money increasing your flow. That is an awesome tribute to Alabama. It won't be your fault when we all die in the next Category 5. You did your part.

If I could complain...I'd suggest that I-65 from Mobile to Montgomery northbound should be at least 3 lanes. Probably 4 lanes. The whole way. Everyone on the coast wants to move to Montgomery or North in a storm. Florida needs to contibute at least half to widen I-65. But don't hold your breath. This is the greater Pensacola area we are talking about. There are 10 suburbs of Orlando that have more political pull (but not population).
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2009, 6:14 AM
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Florida just doesn't care, I don't think. All I can say is, I'm glad we're being proactive.
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2009, 7:12 PM
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Here's an interesting editorial regarding the $1bn+ River Bridge and Bayway expansion in Mobile that tells a cautionary tale about moving too fast for the sake of perceived progress.

LINK
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2009, 2:56 AM
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Build the Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthSky View Post
Here's an interesting editorial regarding the $1bn+ River Bridge and Bayway expansion in Mobile that tells a cautionary tale about moving too fast for the sake of perceived progress.

LINK
Yes, it is a rehash of all we know about the PAST. This is not the 1930's or even the 1960's. I hardly think there is anything historic that would be destroyed and one can not possibly see anything that would damage the environment as we are talking a handful of pilings in ground that has long ago covered up whatever is buried there. I would not suggest another disaster like the Causeway as it has badly damaged the Bay. It was an interesting and informative article but I did see it as the usual scare tactic used by many who would not want a bridge but need to come up with an excuse to justify their opposition. Let the opponents have to deal with the terrible traffic jams that are taking place almost every day now and they would change their tune. Build the Bridge...Build it Now.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2009, 4:40 AM
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Let's not forget all the CO2 that is emitted into the air when people sit, idling, for long periods of time when traffic is bad. So, I'd think that the environment benefits might outweigh the costs.
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2009, 5:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlessedMobile View Post
Yes, it is a rehash of all we know about the PAST. This is not the 1930's or even the 1960's. I hardly think there is anything historic that would be destroyed and one can not possibly see anything that would damage the environment as we are talking a handful of pilings in ground that has long ago covered up whatever is buried there. I would not suggest another disaster like the Causeway as it has badly damaged the Bay. It was an interesting and informative article but I did see it as the usual scare tactic used by many who would not want a bridge but need to come up with an excuse to justify their opposition. Let the opponents have to deal with the terrible traffic jams that are taking place almost every day now and they would change their tune. Build the Bridge...Build it Now.
I agree with the bridge, but didn't the P-R editorial staff already come out and advocate the bridge?

Anyways, the city/ALDOT need to plan to totally remove the Water street exit as we build the bridge. That was a bigger disaster than building the Wallace Tunnels.
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2009, 5:03 PM
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Sorry if this hijack's the thread, but bridge-builder proponents are, of course, making assumptions that commuting patterns won't change. Things have never and will never be static. Only a hundred years ago you barely even have cars in this area. 60 years ago there were barely any paved roads outside of town. Just building a road wider/bypass/bridge may not result in actually bettering a place. I think that's what the author of that article was talking about.

It would be infinitely better long-term if the money was spent on (A) a hurricane evac interstate spur to connect I-65 & -I-10 in Baldwin county (which could also serve to help evacuate the P-cola) & (B) a commuter rail project to connect those Eastern Shore suburbs with downtown & the airport. Commuters have already shown a willingness to use mass transit when gas prices spiked a while back. That they're already inching back towards $3-$4 a gallon just makes it more important that we put this economically sound idea into practice. The evac route (already planned & being pushed by the state) would take almost all of the beach-bound traffic off the Bayway in Spring/Summer and removing commuters (even if you only get half of them) w/ a light rail system would make an even further dent in the traffic.

Ultimately you can take half the local traffic off the Bayway entirely maybe more if gas prices continue to go up... & unless reliable electric/Hydrogen fuel cell cars come out soon to a mass market we're going to have a lot more push for this method of travel in the very near future anyway. Most folk won't pay $5 & $6 a gallon for a daily commute every single weekday (heck, 5 to 10 years from now when the bridge finally opens it could easily be $7 or $8 a gallon... or more). Certainly not for the gas-guzzlers popular in the Suburbs.

The bridge is, IMO, a prideful waste of money and an example of poor planning. There's zero need for it now (traffic issues on the Bayway are waaaaaay overstated and there's almost never traffic on the Causeway) and no concrete need for it tomorrow. The ONLY reason people want it built is to have a pretty new building to talk about.
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Old Posted Aug 11, 2009, 3:59 AM
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bridge politics

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthSky View Post
I agree with the bridge, but didn't the P-R editorial staff already come out and advocate the bridge?

Anyways, the city/ALDOT need to plan to totally remove the Water street exit as we build the bridge. That was a bigger disaster than building the Wallace Tunnels.
The PR has advocated the bridge. This was a guest columnist who happened to be a local professor. I agree with you about the removal of the Water Street ramp to the tunnel; it would greatly enlarge the Ft. Conde area for development.
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2009, 1:33 PM
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Of course it doesn't mean they are ready to get started...but interesting after several years it's now comming up again.

Quote:
via: Montgomery Advertiser
Outer Loop 3-mile segment readied for construction

The long-delayed Montgomery Outer Loop projects could be back on.

If federal dollars are made available through congressional earmarks, not federal stimulus money, the Alabama Department of Transportation will bid out the eastern leg of the work as soon as September or October. That work would connect Interstate 85 to Vaughn Road.

That three-mile stretch of work, which includes a costly interchange at I-85, could cost between $100 million to $120 million, according to ALDOT spokesman Tony Harris.

Although the work would only be three miles of the 20-mile Outer Loop, state Rep. Thad McClammy sees the new interest in the project as a significant victory.

"The journey to the Outer Loop begins with the first three miles," McClammy said Wednesday.

Although the funding for those three miles aren't in hand, Harris is optimistic.

"We've been talking to Congress and are hopeful additional federal funding can be made available to allow us to move forward with taking bids late this year," Harris said.

Doing the entire project, which is intended to relieve congestion and promote economic development, would cost between $400 million to $500 million. Harris said the state is prepared to contribute matching money and would likely be required to do so.

But until such federal funding is received, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange is downplaying the fact a portion of the project is finally being prepared to be bid.

"The fact that we're teeing it up doesn't mean anything," Strange said during a Montgomery Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting on Wednesday.

Part of preparing for this possible funding meant putting two phases of the three-mile project in what is called the local Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which is intended to be a list of funded projects.

A formality, the change had to be done before the project could advance in the process.

John Lorentson, who is the Sixth Division Engineer for ALDOT, represented the state at the Wednesday MPO meeting. Lorentson said to the group that although the funding is still being sought, the projects should be added to the TIP so that it would be ready for construction this fall.

"We hope to have (the funding) soon, but we don't know," Lorentson said.

The two projects on the MPO's agenda would cost about $27 million to do, but they are only two parts of the six phases needed to build the Outer Loop from I-85 to Vaughn Road, which is in a mostly rural and residential area of the county.

The first phase, which cost $21.8 million, has already been finished, but no work has been done on the Outer Loop in the past few years.

The dormant project was given a lift in January when the Montgomery County Commission announced that it would work with a non-profit called Focus 2000 to study the feasibility of building it as a toll road through a public-private partnership.

Harris would not say whether the public-private partnership sparked new interest on the state or federal level, saying only that ALDOT was committed to building the Outer Loop as it was originally envisioned. Harris said the three-mile segment being readied for construction now would not be built as a toll road.

McClammy, an ardent supporter of the project through the years, most recently demonstrated that support by sending oversized two-foot by three-foot postcards -- with a picture of the abandoned project on one side and signatures of residents on the other -- to elected officials in Montgomery and Washington.

While he is fine with private enterprise picking up the project from Vaughn Road westward, he said the state has a "moral responsibility" to finish the project from I-85 to Vaughn Road.

"These are property owners. These are taxpayers. We acquired this property under the pretense that we were going to do the Outer Loop," McClammy said. "We made those promises. We should keep them.

"(Focus 2000) didn't make those promises. The great state of Alabama made those promises. Those are our promises to keep," McClammy added.

County Commission vice chairman Reed Ingram, who represents the area where the Outer Loop would begin, said undertaking the three-mile segment is positive, but added that the benefits of the Outer Loop would not be realized with this small portion.

"It'll help, but only for local residents. It won't do anything as far as economic development. It'll help people get home a little faster," Ingram said.

"You're really not getting anywhere until you get all the pieces," he added.

Ingram said he believed the state and federal government would fund the project from I-85 to Vaughn Road and that private enterprise would likely pick it up from Vaughn Road and continue it west to Troy Highway.

"I'm cautiously optmistic. You don't know if Focus 2000 is really going to come up with the money or not. You don't know. It really could be a road to nowhere," Ingram said.

To date, $52.9 million has been spent on the Outer Loop. Aside from the first phase of the ongoing six-phase project, that work included tasks such as a corridor study, right of way acquisition and preliminary engineering. As of this year, ALDOT has restarted its effort to acquire rights of way beyond Vaughn Road, according to Harris.

"We hope to have (the funding) soon, but we don't know," Lorentson said.

The two projects on the MPO's agenda would cost about $27 million to do, but they are only two parts of the six phases needed to build the Outer Loop from I-85 to Vaughn Road, which is in a mostly rural and residential area of the county.

The first phase, which cost $21.8 million, has already been finished, but no work has been done on the Outer Loop in the past few years.

The dormant project was given a lift in January when the Montgomery County Commission announced that it would work with a non-profit called Focus 2000 to study the feasibility of building it as a toll road through a public-private partnership.

Harris would not say whether the public-private partnership sparked new interest on the state or federal level, saying only that ALDOT was committed to building the Outer Loop as it was originally envisioned. Harris said the three-mile segment being readied for construction now would not be built as a toll road.

McClammy, an ardent supporter of the project through the years, most recently demonstrated that support by sending oversized two-foot by three-foot postcards -- with a picture of the abandoned project on one side and signatures of residents on the other -- to elected officials in Montgomery and Washington.

While he is fine with private enterprise picking up the project from Vaughn Road westward, he said the state has a "moral responsibility" to finish the project from I-85 to Vaughn Road.

"These are property owners. These are taxpayers. We acquired this property under the pretense that we were going to do the Outer Loop," McClammy said. "We made those promises. We should keep them.

"(Focus 2000) didn't make those promises. The great state of Alabama made those promises. Those are our promises to keep," McClammy added.

County Commission vice chairman Reed Ingram, who represents the area where the Outer Loop would begin, said undertaking the three-mile segment is positive, but added that the benefits of the Outer Loop would not be realized with this small portion.

"It'll help, but only for local residents. It won't do anything as far as economic development. It'll help people get home a little faster," Ingram said.

"You're really not getting anywhere until you get all the pieces," he added.

Ingram said he believed the state and federal government would fund the project from I-85 to Vaughn Road and that private enterprise would likely pick it up from Vaughn Road and continue it west to Troy Highway.

"I'm cautiously optmistic. You don't know if Focus 2000 is really going to come up with the money or not. You don't know. It really could be a road to nowhere," Ingram said.

To date, $52.9 million has been spent on the Outer Loop. Aside from the first phase of the ongoing six-phase project, that work included tasks such as a corridor study, right of way acquisition and preliminary engineering. As of this year, ALDOT has restarted its effort to acquire rights of way beyond Vaughn Road, according to Harris.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2009, 12:16 AM
ttownfeen ttownfeen is offline
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PBS's newshow NewsHour did a segment on the northern loop. Naturally, it's tilted towards the NIMBYs and environmentalists.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/blueprintame...ll-report/778/
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