SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) – There’s no doubt the city of Spanish Fort is growing. It’s easy to see up and down Highway 31 with new businesses moving in.

“We grew 48% in the last census and it hasn’t slowed down any,” said Mayor Mike McMillan.

That’s why Mayor McMillan and the city council are looking ahead to 2023, preparing now for what’s on the way.

“We have a master plan for everything,” said McMillan. “We’re going to build a new fire station right here catty-corner to city hall. We’ve never had a public works building. We’re going to take the old fire station and make it a public works building, so it’s just part of the pieces.”

Those changes may help boost what the city is trying to create in the new year. Mayor McMillan would like to see a downtown district that could take off once a year-long project to light up Highway 31 wraps up in January.

“We’ve never had a downtown like other cities, because we’re a young city,” said McMillan. “This will develop a downtown is what it’s going to do.”

Further east just north of the city, a 208-unit townhome development is just one of several new, upcoming residential builds in an area already booming with construction, but right now traffic is a big concern. City officials are already working with the Alabama Department of Transportation to one day soon widen Highway 31 to Highway 59, turning the two-lane stretch into a 4-lane highway.

“That’s got to happen because all of that growth is going up there,” said McMillan. “It creates traffic nightmares around the schools in the morning, going home at night.”

A new restaurant is still expected to open middle of next year near Highway 181. As reported earlier this year, Ed’s Seafood Shed, which is making the move from the causeway to the Spanish Fort Plaza shopping center on the other side of the city, should open by February. Work on two new public parks should also begin next year.

“It gives us a footprint of where we’re going,” he continued.

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