A long-awaited lane expansion on Highway 167 North, resurfacing of Main Street and several additional state highway improvements will be taking place soon in the City of Progress.
The Alabama Department of Transportation is on the move in Enterprise with four major projects likely to start within the next year. One of the most anticipated is the five-laning project on Highway 167 from Boll Weevil Circle north to Salem Road.
The additional three lanes in the 2.8-mile stretch will be constructed on either side of the existing lanes. The final configuration calls for two travel lanes north, two travel lanes south and a center turn lane, with additional right turn lanes at intersections.
That project is expected to start in February or March 2022.
Before that happens, however, more than eight miles of Highway 167 from the Boll Weevil Circle north to County Road 154 will be resurfaced. ALDOT officials expect that project to begin in just a few months.
Mayor William E. Cooper and Enterprise leaders have been working with ALDOT for several years to move ahead with lane expansions on Highway 167 North all the way to Troy to accommodate the increasing private and commercial traffic on the popular beach-destination route, which also serves as a hurricane evacuation route from Florida.
Cooper said the comprehensive expansion is still on the table, but the five-laning in the Enterprise City Limits is a great start.
“ALDOT recognized that this portion of 167N had not been repaved in quite some time and its condition needed addressing,” Cooper said. “ALDOT felt it would be beneficial to motorists to go ahead and resurface the existing two lanes ahead of the five-laning project.”
City Engineering Consultant Glenn Morgan said Highway 167, also known inside the City Limits as Neil Metcalf Road, was rutted and cracked in spots, but the upcoming work will give the road a smoother, updated surface.
He joined Cooper in thanking ALDOT for making the Enterprise projects a priority and getting them on the work schedule.
In November, construction bids will be sought for two other major projects.
Cooper is extremely pleased that ALDOT is moving ahead with resurfacing Main Street, from the north side of Boll Weevil Circle at Highway 84 West through downtown to East Park and then south onto Plaza Drive, ending at the Boll Weevil Circle at Highway 167 South.
The other project will continue the resurfacing from East Park at Plaza Drive to the Boll Weevil Circle at Highway 84 East. Morgan noted that last year’s water main replacement project included East Park from Plaza to the bypass so that if the resurfacing project came to pass, the resurfaced roadway would not have to be disturbed.
“These state roads are the primary thoroughfares through our city. Rehabilitation of these roads and good maintenance are vital to the overall well-being of our city in general and our downtown specifically,” he said. “I appreciate that ALDOT recognizes how important this work is to us.”
Once bids are let and a construction contract awarded later, ALDOT is expected to begin work on both of these projects in February or March of next year.
Another much-anticipated project on the ALDOT schedule for Enterprise is the roundabout at the intersection of Shellfield Road and State Highway 27. The first roundabout in Coffee County will be funded through a $2 million ALDOT grant awarded earlier this year.
Though city officials agree that the concept may take some getting used to by some drivers who haven’t encountered them often in traveling outside of the area, they said roundabouts are becoming more and more popular throughout the Southeast and the nation.
Studies also show that roundabouts slow down traffic and improve safety. They are designed to improve traffic flow by channeling vehicles to specific exits in a smoother fashion. ALDOT will begin taking bids on that project in February 2022.
“We appreciate the effort and perseverance that ALDOT has afforded to all these vital projects,” Cooper said. “We are thankful that funding is available for these projects. Even as we look forward to getting started on these improvements, we are working with ALDOT on future plans such as more additional lanes on Highway 167 further north toward Troy.”