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City of Hoover, ALDOT hold public information meetings on new I-459 interchange

City of Hoover, ALDOT hold public information meetings on new I-459 interchange, SOURCE: ABC 33/40 News.{ }{p}{/p}
City of Hoover, ALDOT hold public information meetings on new I-459 interchange, SOURCE: ABC 33/40 News.

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The City of Hoover and the Alabama Department of Transportation held public information meetings Thursday for a new interchange on I-459.

The interchange would be designated as Exit 9. The project includes:

  • A diverging diamond intersection
  • Extension of Ross Bridge Parkway to the intersection of Brocks Gap Parkway and South Shades Crest Road
  • Auxiliary lanes from the Exit 10 interchange to the new interchange
  • Bridge over I-459
  • Ramp bridges over the railroad
  • A sidewalk along one side of the Ross Bridge Parkway extension

The new interchange is expected to alleviate traffic at Exit 10 on John Hawkins Parkway which sees thousands of people each day, especially during peak hours.

"There are issues right now at the Exit 10 interchange. It's overloaded. It's overcrowded. there's a lot of congestion. What this will do is alleviate a lot of that congestion," said Blake Miller, City of Hoover assistant engineer.

The Ross Bridge extension would provide another way to get to and from the interstate for many neighborhoods as well as the Hoover Met.

"First and foremost it provides connectivity," said Miller. "It allows people to get there faster and get there cleaner 'cause you're not sitting on the interstate just idling."

The diverging diamond interchange allows for traffic to freely move on and off the interstate to the left and right. Drivers crossing the bridge on Ross Bridge would travel onto the left side of the road for a short distance before moving back to the right side. Traffic lights would control the flow.

In January, Hoover City Council members agreed to fund half of the $120 million project. ALDOT would take care of the other half.

READ MORE: Hoover takes major step to make long discussed I-459 interchange reality

"Hoover is advancing the project on the preliminary engineering side. ALDOT is going to come in and help with the construction aspect when we get everything ready," said DeJarvis Leonard, ALDOT East Central Region engineer. "Partnerships allow us to prioritize projects to the top of the list."

The new interchange was actually approved in 2011. Leonard said the partnership with the city has moved it forward.

Frank Hrabe has lived in Hoover for 18 years. He attended one of the information sessions Thursday. He had a couple of concerns, one being noise.

"It looks like they are going to clear-cut everything between the new road and the railroad tracks, which would make it noisier than it currently is in my neighborhood. I am a good way from 459 now but when the leaves are off the trees in the winter, it sounds like it's almost in my backyard," said Hrabe.

Hrabe is also worried about more traffic on two-lane sections of South Shades Crest.

"It looks like to me unless there are major improvements, you are just going to bottleneck in a new place. I know the county has talked about three lanes but I don't know that three lanes solve anything but one way," said Hrabe.

Miller said there were a lot of questions about how the new interchange ties into the proposed South Shades Crest widening project.

"The widening project is being relooked at, at this point to make sure they both do tie together. We are talking with Jefferson County right now and collaborating and trying to come up with a really good solution for both projects," said Miller.

Rhabe added he could see how the project would help people in the Ross Bridge community and possibly those in a new subdivision called Everlee. He submitted his concerns at the meeting. ALDOT said those comments will be used during the project's design phase.

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"Hopefull they will all be taken into consideration," said Hrabe.

"We don't see everything that people who drive our roads every day see. They know the communities and we need their comments to make sure we make the best decision in the design process," said Leonard.

People can view information about the project on ALDOT's website. The comment period is open until June 9th.

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Construction will start in Spring 2025 and is expected to last two years.

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