Roundabout planned for intersection of Hwy. 84, Ala. 55

Published 12:43 am Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Plans also calls for new Lightwood Knot Creek bridge

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of U.S. 84 and Hwy. 55 near River Falls over the next few years.

ALDOT is holding a series of meetings across the state to get public input into its plan for improvements planned for fiscal years 2020-2023, and had representatives in Andalusia Monday night. Mark Graham explained that the estimated $1.8 million project near River Falls would take more than one fiscal year because the process includes acquiring the right of way, as well as construction.

Graham explained that state traffic counts – which show 10,000 vehicles a day on the River Falls side of the intersection; 5,350 vehicles on the Hwy. 55 side of the intersection; and 3,850 vehicles on the Evergreen side of the intersection – do not warrant a stoplight.

Graham explained that roundabouts don’t stop accidents, but they do lessen the impacts of accidents. At present, he said, most accidents that happen at intersections like U.S. 84 and Hwy. 55 are T-bones.

“At a roundabout, you get more fender benders,” he said. Another plus, he said, is traffic keeps moving.

River Falls Mayor Patricia Gunter was on hand for the open house-style meeting, and said improvement of some kind is needed.

Graham said there will be public hearings on the project once it gets past the planning stage.

Florala Mayor Terry Holley and Councilwoman Gayle Robbins also were on hand to talk about possible improvements to make beach traffic flow more smoothly through the town.

The second project listed for Covington County during the four-year time period is the replacement of the bridge over Lightwood Knot Creek on Hwy. 331. The project is estimated at $5.2 million.

ALDOT will accept comments on the plans until June 21, 2019.