Birmingham concerned over elevated Highway 280 plans

By Ashley Nix

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Another municipality has asked the state transportation department to change it's plan for an elevated Highway 280.  

Tuesday, Birmingham city leaders were going to pass a resolution opposing the $800 million ALDOT plan, but Mayor William Bell asked them not to.

Tuesday, city councilors were asked to oppose ALDOT's elevated Highway 280 plan to relieve congestion on Highway 280.

"It is a 10-20 year plan and if you're talking about 800 million dollars, I want a bigger bang for my buck," said Councilor Kim Raffery.

But even with those concerns, Mayor William Bell had more concerns about passing the resolution…more specifically the word oppose.   Bell said he's concerned about Birmingham using harsh language towards ALDOT and how that could impede future projects where the city needs ALDOT's assistance.

"Before you go off trying to pick a fight with somebody, if that's what we wanna do," Bell said.  "Just remember there are consequences to it."  

Other councilors agreed with the mayor.  

"The problem with the resolution there's so much emotional language,"  Council President Roderick Royal said.  "There are some facts, it could be offensive to ALDOT who's trying to finally do something for this area."
In the end, councilors changed the wording from "oppose" to being "concerned" about the plan.  Even though city councilors say they're heading the mayor's advice, they are still hoping for major changes to the current 280 plan.  

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