SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) – A new four-lane highway is coming, but for now drivers are navigating the construction zone in Spanish Fort on Highway 31.
“There’s a sea of orange cones out here and people are always having to make sure they’re going the right direction,” said Spanish Fort Police Chief John Barber.
That’s because every few weeks the Alabama Department of Transportation crews are adjusting the traffic flow on Highway 31 while they work on the major road widening project. That’s creating issues for police and frustrating drivers.
“With all the cones out here it can be kind of dangerous for people trying to get in and out of these subdivisions and businesses in the Highway 31 area,” said Barber.
It’s a trend Barber is noticing during the construction phases as drivers navigate the constant changes, but one he hopes is temporary.
“We have looked at the stats because we have seen some complaints about it. We have seen some wrecks that I’ll say have been contributed to somebody not being able to see properly, not just the cones out here, but a lot of times there are construction vehicles that might obstruct their view,” added Chief Barber.
ALDOT updated WKRG News 5 this week saying the contractor should have the project completed before Christmas. Another lane change will happen this Thursday night.
“The contractor plans to implement the remaining traffic shift from the western end of the project through to east of Papa Johns store on Thursday night, September 9. The contractor will open all lanes during this shift with temporary striping,” they said.
Once that’s done the final paving and final striping will begin. ALDOT and police ask drivers to use caution and be patient while the work wraps up in the coming months. Posted speed limits are 30 mph on Highway 31, down from 45 mph before construction began. Chief Barber says the speed limit should go back to 45 mph later this year.