ALDOT plans to improve Highway 280 intersections


It's the most hated highway in the metro. Now, a solution to traffic trouble on 280 could make traffic flow faster for commuters, but it could leave some people waiting longer at traffic lights.

There have been all types of suggestions on how to fix the traffic congestion on Highway 280. One long term solution the state is considering is an elevated toll road. But while they figure out whether that project would work, they're developing several short term solutions.

{}"It's hectic," Tim Isbell, a driver on Highway 280 said. "Everywhere you turn, you can't get in without someone cutting you off or having a wreck. There's a wreck every day you know?"

{}Tim Isbell is one of the thousands of drivers who sits in the bumper to bumper traffic, every morning and every night.

"I get off at 6:30 and I stay where I'm at until almost 7 to avoid the traffic," Isbell said.

James has the same story...

"If they could eliminate some of the lights, smooth out the traffic, it would be a lot easier," James Kilfoyle, a driver on Highway 280 said.

So does Blake...

{}"The red lights. They don't hold long enough. Some hold too long," Blake Knight, a driver on Highway 280 said.

{}"Rush hour is really bad," Deepika Manem, a driver on Highway 280 said. "My workplace is like 30 minutes away but it takes me at least an hour and if there is an accident, it's like 1 1/2 hours."

Complaints like theirs are the center of a new ALDOT project aimed at making the drive a little easier.

Here's the plan: there are 26 intersections on 280 between Hollywood Boulevard and Doug Baker Boulevard. Each will have a different type of work done. Overall, drivers on the side streets will wait longer to get onto 280, but once they make that turn, the driving time will drop.

"It's to inconvenience them a few seconds, get them on 280, improve their travel time that they made is a better trip than they made before," Brian Davis, Engineer, ALDOT said.

ALDOT believes it will also dramatically improve safety.

"Many accidents on 280 happen because of the stop and go patterns that exist because of the congestion," Davis said. "When you can eliminate the congestion, you'll find the number of accidents will go down."{}

The total cost will be between $12 and 15 million and construction will begin by the Spring of 2013.

ALDOT wants people who travel or live along 280 to attend their information meeting set for November 19th at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. At that time, they'll release more specific information about the project.