Photo by Kathryn Acree.
0812 Phase I Inverness GreenwayPhase I of the Inverness Community Greenway would run from Valleydale Road along Inverness Parkway to the 77-acre Inverness Nature Park.
The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is pursuing several road construction projects affecting areas along the Highway 280 corridor, as they discussed at a June town hall meeting at Simmons Middle School.
Improvements to turn lane at Highway 119 and Highway 280
ALDOT is working to improve traffic flow in the southbound lane on Highway 119 that turns to go east onto Highway 280.
“It backs up traffic forever,” said Brian Davis, Third Division Engineer representing Jefferson, Shelby and Walker Counties.
ALDOT worked with the City of Hoover, at their request, to fund half of the projected $1 million project to improve the traffic flow. The partnership allows plans to be developed by Hoover as a permit.
The one left turn lane on 119 will be improved to dual turn lanes, and both will be lengthened to allow for a better flow of traffic onto 280. The project currently has a letting date of early 2013.
Valleydale Road widening
This Hoover-sponsored project to widen Valleydale Road from Caldwell Mill Road to Inverness Center Drive has a letting date of early 2014. The 3.5-mile project has a price tag of $12.8 million to increase the number of lanes along the busy stretch of road near Jeff State’s Shelby Campus, Spain Park High School and Veterans Park.
An additional aspect of the plan is a 6-foot sidewalk along Valleydale Road connecting Inverness to Veterans Park.
Inverness Community Greenway, Phase I
First developed nearly 10 years ago, the Inverness Community Greenway seeks to connect the subdivisions along Inverness Parkway to the 77-acre Inverness Nature Park. A 10-foot wide asphalt paved stretch totaling 1.8 miles will run from Hoover Fire Station #7 to the nature park.
Inverness resident Bill Sweet worked on the original plans for the Greenway and is excited to see a letting date of late 2012 assigned to the $770,000 project by ALDOT.
“Keeping the greenway ten feet wide is essential,” said Sweet. “The idea is for it to be multi-purpose. It allows enough room for strollers, walkers and bikers to all travel the same path.”
Sweet noted the exceptional dedication of Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock and David Hunke, Supervisor of Planning Services with the Shelby County Department of Development Services, to the project. “They’ve been committed to this project from the beginning. We knew it would take a long time to come together but I think it will be a wonderful addition to the Inverness community.”
The City of Hoover and Shelby County will equally divide the costs to fund the local 20 percent match to construct Phase I of the project. Phase I develops the Greenway to the Inverness Nature Park; Phase 2 continues the Greenway along Inverness Parkway to Inverness Center Drive, reconnecting with Valleydale Road.
280 Adaptive Control light system update
The Adaptive Control System to monitor the traffic flow onto Highway 280 through surveillance cameras has been delayed to early next year instead of this fall.
“It is funded, the contract has been let,” said ALDOT Director John Cooper.
Cooper added that ALDOT is prepared for the “switchboard to light up” with the new traffic light system. “We’re going to do lots of pre-education, trying to explain to people how it’s going to work.”
“I’ll tell you in advance, if you’re on a side road, you’re probably not going to be happy with the system due to the extra time you wait,” Cooper said. “Our hope is the time you save once you get up on 280 will be worth that.”
Cooper stated that Governor Bentley has not formally decided what to do about Highway 280, but said they are continuing to work on ways to make it better.