Shelby County Commission hears two proposals on highway 280

By Sherea Harris

COLUMBIANA, AL (WBRC) - The Shelby County commission hears two proposals on easing traffic on Highway 280.

One proposal was from the Alabama Department of Transportation. The other was from a group opposed to ALDOT's plan.

A group called "Rethink 280" is strongly against ALDOT's plan.

A spokesperson says there are other ways to relieve congestion on 280.

"Rethink 280' wanted to convince Shelby County commissioners to say "NO" to ALDOT's elevated highway project.

ALDOT's spokesperson Brian Davis made his pitch to commissioners.

The 800 million dollar expansion project would extend from the top of Oak Mountain to Red Mountain Expressway and would add elevated lanes to part of 280.

Temple Tutwiler with "Rethink 280" set out to prove an elevated highway will be destructive to the businesses and neighborhoods along 280.

He says simply adding express lanes will relieve traffic problems.

Commissioners wanted a chance to hear from both side before making a decision.

"There's lots of different thought processes here whether it be a transportation issue or business community issue," said commissioner Rick Shepherd. "The traffic there is getting really bad, as every body knows something needs to be done. Whether it be an elevated highway or another proposal that's yet to be seen."

Homewood and Mountain Brook are some cities that have voted against ALDOT's proposal.

Shelby County commissioners didn't vote "yes" or "no" on ALDOT's proposal tonight but they adopted a resolution of their own.

The resolution urges ALDOT to resume work on a proposal for a toll highway concept but look at various ways to do it.

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