BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Highway 280 is just one of numerous roadways in Alabama undergoing many changes.
A traffic light at Overton Road will be activated at 7 p.m. at Overton Road.
The light replaces the light at Cherokee Road, which is being removed.
New turn lanes are also being added to the area.
The new changes are all part of the Alabama Department of Transportation’s plan to ease traffic congestion along a nine-mile stretch of Highway 280.
However, the 280 project is just one of several road projects ALDOT is working on in the area.
Transportation Director John Cooper says ALDOT’s biggest project at the moment is the I-20/59 bridge replacement.
Cooper says the area they are focusing on has the highest traffic count in the Birmingham area – nearly 160,000 every day.
Cooper says with only three lands, any accident or disables vehicle can paralyze traffic flow.
“The plan we have developed would rebuild that and allow us to have an additional lane and an auxiliary lane and would allow us to put shoulders on both sides,” Cooper said.
ALDOT’s plan would eliminate the 17th and 22nd Street exits on I-20/59.
Eventually, drivers would access downtown on a much wider 11th Avenue.
Construction will begin in late 2014 and should take about two and a half years to finish.
The total cost of the project will be around $300 million.
ALDOT is also busy trying to rework 27 separate intersections along Highway 280.
Workers are adding turn lanes and reconfiguring traffic lights on nearly nine miles of Highway 280 in Jefferson and Shelby Counties.
Some people are worried that taking down a light in front of Mountain Book Plaza will cause havoc as drivers try to get to businesses in the area.
However, ALDOT says there have not been any issues thus far.
“That has gone well,” Cooper said. “There doesn’t seem to be any problems accessing 280 that we have seen. I’m sure we have inconvenienced some folks in the office building and we regret that.”
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