A small grassroots effort has started down in Eufaula Alabama to save a stretch of historic street from ALDOT’s hands. North Eufaula Avenue is also known as US 431, and it was featured in the 2002 film Sweet Home Alabama, and the avenue has plenty of antebellum homes that line the street. But, according to ALDOT there is a traffic problem along US 431 in Eufaula. During the Summer months, when traffic is passing through Eufaula to go to the beach, ALDOT says traffic sometimes backs up for a few miles. Is the traffic problem because of the short stretch of one lane street, or the numerous traffic lights in South Eufaula that ALDOT is known to do, you know, place numerous traffic lights along major highways instead of building interchanges, like every other state does. (US 280 is a good example)
Now, ALDOT is studying the idea of widening North Eufaula Avenue at the short stretch where US 431 goes down to one lane. As you should know, US 431 is now a 4-lane highway from Phenix City down to Dothan. The only part of the 4-lane stretch that goes down to one lane is a short 1/2 mile stretch through northern Eufaula. ALDOT is wanting to take out part of the median, so a second lane could be added along the one lane stretch. If that happens, all of the historic large trees and plants could be at risk of being torn down, which would destroy the beauty of this stretch of US 431. A survey crew has already come out and laid down sticks and flags where the road would be widened, and many residents are not happy!
Another option for ALDOT is to build a new 4-lane bypass around the western side of Eufaula. But because of the huge cost tag, it is no longer an option. And ALDOT is now perusing widening North Eufaula Avenue. Many residents, organizations, and businesses in Eufaula including the city of Eufaula, Eufaula-Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, Eufaula Heritage Association, Eufaula-Randolph Neighborhood Association, Alabama Tourism Department, Alabama Historical Commission, Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission all oppose the project. But sadly, sometimes ALDOT gets their way, no matter how many people are against a certain project. And Geek Alabama has talked about the corruption inside the Alabama State Government and ALDOT, and we also oppose the 4-laning of North Eufaula Avenue.
US 431 has seen it’s traffic build between Phenix City and Dothan because it’s a major traffic route. Around 25,000 vehicles a day travel along US 431, and more trucks are traveling along this highway. Sometimes, traffic does back up because of events happening in downtown Eufaula or because of hurricane evacuation traffic. But traffic backups are rare along North Eufaula Avenue, most of the traffic backups happen on the south side of town, where there a lot of traffic lights. Maybe if some of the traffic lights were removed, the traffic jams would improve! Most states do not put up numerous traffic lights along major traffic routes, but Alabama is different!
ALDOT has tried to 4-lane North Eufaula Avenue a couple of times with no success, but supporters against the project have said the budget to widen US 431 is already in the ALDOT Rural Planning 2014-2019 budget, and according to the supporters against this project, construction is to begin in 2015! Things are getting so bad, North Eufaula Avenue has been placed on Alabama’s 2014 Places in Peril list. Many people who have commented online about this project have said they have great memories of North Eufaula Avenue, and they are not wanting ALDOT to destroy this beautiful stretch of roadway. If you had to decide to widen or keep things the same by looking at the photo below, what would you do?
From ALDOT saying there are 4-7 mile backups on US 431, to people living in the community saying widening North Eufaula Avenue would destroy the beauty of the area. I am hoping ALDOT will not widen North Eufaula Avenue. And instead concentrate on building the western Eufaula bypass US 431 badly needs! Yes, North Eufaula Avenue is a federal highway, and carries US 431 and US 82, but North Eufaula Avenue has many memories of people from around the country who have visited Eufaula, I hope ALDOT makes the right decision here!
Learn more at: http://www.savenortheufaulaave.com/
Join the Save North Eufaula Avenue Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/815516851809917/
Sign the petition to stop the widening of North Eufaula Avenue at: https://www.change.org/petitions/john-cooper-aldot-aldot-please-help-save-our-historic-district-and-oppose-the-four-lane-planned-for-eufaula-avenue
Categories: Roadscapes Stuff