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Galleria Boulevard extension project set to move forward

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A plan to ease congestion around one of Hoover’s most popular retail destinations is moving forward.

Jefferson County is working on a project to extend Galleria Blvd from Highway 150 to Old Montgomery Highway.

The plan is a better alternative than the route many drivers have been using to connect to Old Montgomery Highway: the Ashley Furniture parking lot.

“It will give people an opportunity that now have illegally been crossing over into a private parking lot,” Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato told ABC 33/40.

Phyllis Casey is one driver who admits she cuts through the parking lot to get around traffic as quickly as possible.

“We all do it throughout this area because it's a very difficult area to travel in,” said Casey.

Jefferson county is working to build an even better option for drivers.

“It’s going to help traffic flow dramatically around the 150 and Highway 31 area because it will take cars off of 150 and off of Highway 31,” said Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos.

Petelos knows this has been in the works for years. Now, a major milestone in the project is expected July first.

“July one, we should have the authorization from the federal government, which is funding this project, to go ahead with right of way acquisition” explained Petelos. “It will probably take 6 months or so to do right of way acquisition. At that point, we'll have to put it out for bids. Once we get the bids, in, then open it up for construction soon.”

That means the $6 million project should go out for bid the first or second quarter of 2018.

That’s something drivers like Casey say can't come soon enough.

“I think it would make it better, the traffic flow better, the way it should flow,” said Casey.

The project is a collaboration between the federal government, the state, Jefferson County and Hoover.

“It’s going to open that up to development for us so overall it’s a great thing to happen in our city,” said Brocato. “We’re looking forward to it and it’s been a long time coming.”

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