Plans underway to fix traffic in front of Helena Elementary

HELENA, AL (WBRC) - Helena residents have been complaining about it for years. The traffic on Highway 261 near Helena Elementary School is awful every weekday when parents are dropping off or picking up their children.

"Organized chaos." Those are the words Mayor Mark Hall uses to describe the traffic surrounding the school.

"What happens, in the morning especially, it shuts down traffic for people trying to go to work between the 7:15 to 7:45 time frame," Hall said.

During peak times the traffic can be bumper to bumper.

"Well I know it's like, finally, it's been too long.  And that's the way we feel too," said Hall.

That's why city leaders are planning to improve the intersections around the elementary school.

The city has been meeting with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham.  Already $500,000 has been approved to jump start the project.

"It will drastically improve congestion, according to the study we've looked at," said the mayor.

Hall is not ready to say the exact plans. He instead wants to wait on the initial engineering work to be done.

"The preliminary plan is good. It's solid. It looks really good. The preliminary indications are that we'll move forward on this," he said.

The project is expected to be completed in 1 to 3 years. It is estimated to cost $2.5 to $2.7 million. Hall hopes to get most of that through federal funds.

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