Bentley sets timeline for 280 solution

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM (WBRC) - In Birmingham Monday, the new director of the Alabama Dept. of Transportation announced that Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to make a decision on a plan to relieve traffic congestion on Highway 280 by spring.

One plan calls for an elevated highway from Double Oak Mountain to I-459. The distance from I-459 to Homewood would deal with intersection upgrades.

State lawmakers agree there needs to be a final decision on the plan.

"It's a highway that is built for 50,000 cars a day and you have there a couple to 200,000 cars traveling Highway 280 a day and it's only going to get worse," Sen. Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills said.

ALDOT Director John Cooper said once Bentley decides on a plan, there will still be time for hearings for the public to make their comments.  

"The governor has said he is going to make that decision. He believes it has been studied enough," Cooper said. "We are trying to summarize everything for him now, get back to him with the alternatives."

Still drivers say they can't wait and that 280's congestion is a problem that needs to be fixed.

"Heavy traffic. Especially between four and six and six and eight in the morning. I get off of it because it's loaded with traffic," Tim Davis, a commuter, said. "Robert has a good chore to fix this because everyone has tried to. Robert is a good guy and will have a good thought for it."

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