ALDOT hails completion of $3.5 mill. turn lane

MONTGOMERY - The Alabama Department of Transportation says six months of construction is paying big dividends at one of Montgomery's busiest intersections after it opened a new, extended turn lane to carry traffic off the East Boulevard onto Interstate 85 North Monday.

Construction began in January, and ALDOT project managers opened the project on time and on budget. The project extended the southbound, dedicated left turn lane on East Boulevard heading onto I-85 North. The longer turn lane was planned as a way to relieve traffic backups in the through lanes of East Boulevard.

"With this new extended lane, traffic turning left onto I-85 will no longer cause a backup for vehicles travelling east on the boulevard," said Transportation Director Joe McInnes. "This project is an example of how ALDOT assesses traffic conditions and takes steps to make state and U.S. highways safer and more efficient for travelers."

The East Boulevard where it crosses I-85 has an average daily traffic count of 61,145 vehicles according to ALDOT.

The project cost approximately $3.14 million and included grading, paving and bridge widening for the extended lane.

Authorities caution that intermittent lane closures during evening hours may still occur as a few remaining construction issues are completed.

A similar ALDOT project on Perry Hill Road at I-85 is planned for the future, but is currently in the design stage.