Residents of southern Jefferson County could have been forgiven if they doubted that the widening of Morgan Road would ever take place. After all, the project has been the subject of discussions for more than two decades.
But action at today’s Jefferson County Commission meeting brings the long-discussed project one step closer to reality. Commissioners authorized a construction funding agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for nearly $2.4 million to begin widening the road from Interstate 459 to the Shelby County line at South Shades Crest Road.
“This is a project that’s been 20 years in the making,” said Commission President Jimmie Stephens, whose district includes Morgan Road. “When this project was designed, it was done in metric back around the year 2000. We’re going to bid with it now, which is great news, and they’ll begin construction this summer. It’ll be probably a 2-year project.”
Stephens said it will cost $15 million to $20 million to complete the project. He called it a major infrastructure improvement for the southern portion of Jefferson County and neighboring Shelby County.
“It was talked about for so long with no action being done, and it’s hard to get everyone now acclimated that it is indeed happening,” the commissioner said. “We have many people that work in Jefferson County that reside in Shelby County. This will help everyone.”
The commission president noted that county workers are paving the northern portion of Morgan Road to Alabama 150 and adding traffic control at the Exit 6 interchange of I-459.
“There’s major work being done,” he said.