BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Calera is facing issues with 18-wheeler traffic through the downtown area. The city engineer says after a study, they learned that on average 1600 big rigs travel through downtown daily.
Chris Pappas is the city engineer for Calera and he says that over the last few years the truck traffic has increased.
Calera Police Chief Sean Lemley says it is a public safety issue.
“The 18 wheelers are driving up on the sidewalk, they are clipping the telephone poles, vehicles are having to backup to allow them enough turn radius to make the turn,” Chief Lemley explains. The chief says over the last two years they have worked over 100 wrecks at two downtown intersections.
“There are children coming and going out of this business right at that intersection so it’s a definite hazard,” Chief Lemley points to a dance studio on the corner of the trouble intersection.
After extensive research through an APPLE study, the city was awarded a grant to fund a new a plan to reroute the trucking traffic.
The city wants build a new Highway 25, redirecting the traffic away from these intersections.
“Straight across Highway 31, come across the railroad track here and then continue through an undeveloped area and tie back in to Highway 25, just before you get to the interstate,” Pappas explains.
Mayor Jon Graham says he has also talked to Montevallo and they are very excited about the proposed plan because it would help people get to and from the University of Montevallo.
“If we can get this little route figured out and implemented this will be huge for Calera. This will also be an economic boost for downtown Calera,” he explains.
Right now the city is working to get a permit from CSX railroads for the project. Then the next step would be to secure funding with ALDOT. The project is still in the early stages but the city is working hard to fix the issue as soon as possible.