The realignment of two Beltline Road Southwest intersections will likely begin in the spring after the Alabama Department of Transportation opened bids last week, officials said.

Wiregrass Construction won the contract with a bid of just over $1.8 million on the project to realign the Central Parkway and Sandlin Road intersections on Beltline Road. The project will enable drivers to make permissive left turns from the Beltline at the two intersections when they have a green light after a controlled turn by a green arrow.

ALDOT spokesman Seth Burkett said it usually takes a couple of months to review bids and award the contract so “we’re thinking it will likely be spring before the construction begins.”

Burkett said details on the sequencing of the project will be worked out with the contractor closer to the start of construction.

“There will be some impacts to traffic, particularly those left-turn movements from the Beltline,” Burkett said.

City Engineer Carl Prewitt said the plan is to move the left-turn lane closer to the center of the road to allow the permissive turns.

Prewitt said drivers complained about “having to wait too long under a controlled turn” with no oncoming traffic.

The Beltline had permissive turns when it was a four-lane highway. The state instituted all controlled turns when the Beltline expansion to six lanes was complete.

The intersection project will be funded through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program II, a program created under the Rebuild Alabama Act.

The Rebuild Alabama Act requires ATRIP-II to be an annual program setting aside a minimum of $30 million off the top of ALDOT’s share of new gas tax revenue for projects of local interest on the state highway system.

Prewitt said the city’s cost on the project is $202,000 to pay for preliminary engineering, construction management and inspection. The council is scheduled to vote on the project at Monday’s 6 p.m. meeting.

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(1) comment

Byron Johnson

1.8MIL to turn left on green is an insane amount of money for something so simple. Guess what, I routinely turn left on red at these intersections. So far it has cost nothing. Many people will fail to understand you can turn on yellow arrow; this after spending 1.8MIL. Why not leave well enough alone? Just turn on red if you are certain it is clear. Otherwise, Decatur drivers won't understand what a blinking green/yellow turn arrow means.

ALDOT has the traffic lights on Beltline configured to slow the flow of traffic. Why not synchronize the lights as to keep traffic flowing. I noticed this each day, green then red before next intersection. It is intentional and stupid! ALDOT FIX the traffic flow

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