SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) – Residents along Highway 31 in Spanish Fort are upset after construction crews built a concrete median separating eastbound and westbound traffic in front of their homes.
Drivers near the Dollar General store at Stagecoach Road and Highway 31 will now have to go a little further down the road to cut back across, depending on their direction of travel. Residents in a nearby mobile home park say they’re worried about first responders getting to them in a timely manner.
“They have to go up here if there’s a lot of traffic and make a u-turn and come back and go into the trailer park,” said a resident.
The Alabama Department of Transportation tells us a 4-lane median-divided highway is the safest design when looking at the overall traffic volume and what’s projected in the coming years.
“It provides a physical separation from opposing traffic streams that would reduce the possibility of accidents, thereby improving the safety characteristics of the corridor,” ALDOT said in a statement released to us on Thursday.
But, these residents believe if anything these medians are a safety issue and they’re not worried about it something could happen, but say it’s just a matter of when.
“If something happens it’s going to take an extra 10 to 15 minutes to get help and that’s a life,” said Donna Johnson.
Businesses in that same area have voiced their concerns over the concrete medians in recent months, but ALDOT has no current plans to change their design.
“Prior to the construction of the US-31 widening project, the City of Spanish Fort hired Skipper Consulting to conduct a traffic operations study in order to produce the most safe and efficient design for the corridor. ALDOT agreed to incorporate elements of that study into the plans for the US 31 widening project,” ALDOT added.