Hwy. 331 input meeting set for Tuesday night

Published 12:02 am Saturday, April 7, 2012

For years, the state has eyed the idea of four-laning Hwy. 331 completely; now it is taking input on expanding the highway from Opp to the Florida state line.

The idea has been met with mixed emotions among local leaders and residents for some time.

Florala Mayor Robert Williamson has said, that for years, speculation has brewed about whether or not the new route would bypass Florala.

“Of course, we hope it’s not bypassed period,” he said. “And we also hope that any (AL-DOT) construction plans do not include the bypassing of Florala, because that would be detrimental to our local economy.”

Tony Harris, Alabama Department of Transportation’s bureau chief of media and community relations, said previously that “multiple things would be looked at and weighed, including the potential to disrupt or negatively impact businesses.”

“Once (DOT) determines a route, it will be sent to the Federal Highway Authority for final approval, because they’re going to pay 80 percent of the cost since it’s a federal highway.”

On Tuesday, residents will have the opportunity to voice their concerns or support for the project.

There will be no formal presentation during the meeting; however, ALDOT staff will be on hand with maps of preliminary proposed routes as part of the corridor study, for citizens to view.

Residents with questions or concerns are asked to stop by and meeting to express their views.

Comment sheets will be available at the meeting where people can write down comments, comment and be recorded or submit at a later date.

The meeting will be very informal since plans for the project are in very early stages, officials said.

The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Rodney J. Evans Memorial Building at Florala State Park.

For more information, contact Chanda Calloway or Tim Hornsby at 334-670-2452 or 670-2424.