It's full steam ahead for several projects in Orange Beach, most of them tackling the traffic problems there. More than a thousand people were at Tuesday night's town hall meeting to hear about those projects.
There's a lot of interest when it comes to solving the traffic problem. The meeting last about two hours at the Orange Beach Event Center, and that's because there was plenty to talk about.
Several projects are in the works, centering around how the city is dealing with growth. Mayor Tony Kennon got an ear full from residents about different problems, most of them about traffic, some of them about the new school zoning.Among the projects: adding another lane to Canal Road, which is a big traffic headache down there. The city had diagrams to show residents how that would look. There are also plans to build two new bridges, one over Wolf Bay connecting Highway 161, and another bridge that will go over the Intracoastal Waterway. Mayor Kennon says several smaller road projects are coming as well.
"With the rate of growth that we have, we have got to get ahead of the curve infrastructure wise. You can't stop the growth. It's coming whether you like it or not," says Kennon.By Fall 2019, Orange Beach will have a new school on Canal Road. Superintendent Eddie Tyler was there to answer questions about the new middle school, which was approved by the school board back in September.
Those projects, and others, are pretty pricey. A 2% lodging tax will be spent on infrastructure projects, some which were already mentioned. The Wolf Bay Bridge will cost around $60 million.
Beach re-nourishment will be $20 million, and Perdido Pass dredging will cost $5 million.
The projects are pretty much a done deal, with the state agreeing to help with a few of them. ALDOT was also at the meeting to discuss their plans for the major road projects.
Residents had mixed feelings about the meeting. Some left angry and others left relieved. But many we spoke with say they're happy to see the city doing something about the traffic. All content © 2017, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.