Road opinion sought
Published 9:09 am Wednesday, August 16, 2006
By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Local residents will have a chance Thursday to give their input on changes to Alabama Highway 41 - including the possibility of widening the road from Interstate 65 and putting in a bypass.
The improvements would give a better hurricane evacuation route from Florida Highway 87 and boost economic development, local officials have said.
Alabama Department of Transportation officials will attend the meeting, which will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at T.R. Miller High School. The public will have a chance to see preliminary plans and comment on the future of the highway.
ALDOT has included improvements to Alabama 41 in its five-year plan, although just what those changes will be is uncertain.
ALDOT District Engineer Ronnie Poiroux has said the plans could include widening the highway from two lanes to four lanes as well as straightening the road.
Alabama and Florida have been discussing ways to improve hurricane evacuation routes through Escambia County. Plans are already under way to widen Alabama 113 through Flomaton to Interstate 65 to speed evacuation traffic through that area. Alabama 113 connects to U.S. 29 in Escambia County, Fla.
But officials in Brewton, Flomaton and Atmore have also been looking at four-lane routes through the county as a way to improve economic development.
Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings has said that improving the infrastructure through Brewton would give businesses a better incentive to locate in Brewton.
The four-lane project, including a bypass, has been estimated to cost at least $100 million.