SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) – After years of construction, Highway 31 is now a 4-lane thoroughfare through one of Baldwin County’s fastest-growing cities. Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan is hoping to take advantage of the added traffic.
“You can just look at it. You can see the what’s coming, you’re seeing the growth, you’re seeing new businesses coming in,” he said Thursday.
The 2020 U.S. Census numbers released last year show significant growth in Baldwin County, with nearly 10,000 residents calling Spanish Fort home. Mayor McMillan says two new developments will go before the planning commission this month, bringing a new retail store and a Cactus Cantina restaurant to a vacant property on the corner of Stagecoach Road and Highway 31.
“That will be in the next few months coming forward,” said Mayor McMillan.
Even though Highway 31 is open, McMillan says there are roughly 200 items still on the punch list to get done. He says most of those are small tasks, but items that have to be completed before the entire Highway 31 project is finished. These new street lights on the north side of Highway 31 are also not operating yet. McMillan says only a third of the lamp posts have been installed and the city is also adding lights to the south side of Highway 31.
“I’m looking forward to the night we light them all up, but we’re still several months away from that happening,” said McMillan.
He believes those added amenities will also help attract new growth in the coming year.
“Little retail boutiques, professional businesses. You’ll see a lot of that coming,” he continued.