Sunday, October 14, 2007

Patton Chapel Road project is now more neighborhood-friendly

The city of Hoover has been working since at least 1999 on a road plan for Patton Chapel Rd., Chapel Rd. and the Chapel Lane extension to the Galleria. A controversial plan was shelved in 2003 that would have three-laned the road from Highway 31 to Chapel Lane (near Simmons Middle School) and added sidewalks. Now, a plan is in place that deals with traffic without damaging the residential areas on Patton Chapel.

Over the weekend, many residents received a notice from ALDOT for a meeting on Oct. 25 (details below). This meeting will display plans for the first part of the Patton Chapel project, which will add a lane from Highway 31 to Crayrich Dr. and straighten out the curve. Jefferson County is handling that part of the project, said Hoover City Engineer Rod Long.

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The rest of the project, which is being handled by the city of Hoover, is still in its preliminary stages. Long said that plans are to continue the three lane (two traffic lanes plus a turn lane) to Tammassee Ln., which is just past Green Valley Baptist Church.

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The road will taper back down to two lanes until it gets to Cornwall Rd. just before the creek. It will go back to three lanes for the short section to Chapel Lane/Preserve Parkway. A pedestrian walkway is planned for the bridge.

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Long said that the city met with residents about their objections to the original plans. Now that the road will remain two-lane and sidewalk-less through the main residential areas, the project is proceeding. “We are looking at replacing the valley gutters with curb and gutter when we do the project,” Long said. “Over the years, resurfacing has taken over the gutters, and this would be a good time to replace them.”

The last part of the project is the Chapel Lane extension, which will go to the Patton Creek Shopping Center near the Riverchase Galleria. The road design is complete, Long said, but there are still engineering issues with tying in the planned 1,000-foot bridge with the existing road.

“Chapel Lane will have a pedestrian pathway on the entire section,” Long said. “It will be six feet wide and separate from traffic.”

The projects are being paid for with 80 percent federal funds, which have already been obtained, and 20 percent city funds, which have been carried over from previous capital budgets. There is not a timetable yet for construction.

The Public Involvement Meeting, for the project from Highway 31 to Crayrich Dr., is Oct. 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Green Valley Baptist Church. This is not a public hearing but rather there is a display of maps and other information for the public to look over. Someone from ALDOT and from the county will be there to answer questions. You can pick up an information packet as well. The state takes written comments for ten days after the meeting.

Editor's Note: This meeing is your best way to get information and ask questions. Many people don’t go to these meetings, and so they don’t have all the facts and have to depend on neighbors or the newspaper, which might not have all the details you want. If you live on this street or drive on it, you should stop by for a few minutes on the 25th so you can see for yourself.

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