Work is beginning on a heavily traveled thoroughfare in southern Baldwin County in preparation for the summer beach season.
The intersection of Alabama Highway 161 and Canal Road in Orange Beach can get busy on a normal day, but especially when plenty people are heading for the the surf and sand.
ADDITIONAL TURN LANE
The Alabama Department of Transportation, or ALDOT, said it has just started work to add a left turn lane on Highway 161 northbound for motorists heading west onto Canal, which is also known as Highway 180.
Kathryn Hamlett, ALDOT'S Community Relations Director, said, "Right now, there's only one turn lane, and, so, we're adding a second one, and, to go with that on 180, we're widening for the length of about 1500 feet to give that extra turn lane time to merge with the main line traffic."
MEMORIAL DAY TARGET DATE
ALDOT officials hope to have the work done by Memorial Day.
Hamlett said, "During special events, during weekend traffic, during rush hour, drivers are having to wait sometimes more than one or two cycles to make that left turn."
Visitors to Orange Beach wait in traffic, but so do people who live here.
One motorist told Fox Ten, "I'm happy to see it because, to be honest with you, I've lived down here for years and traffic in the summertime especially is horrible. So, the widening of the road in my opinion is a great thing."
PROJECT NEAR THE WHARF
ALDOT officials said they're also taking steps to ease traffic flow into The Wharf entertainment complex.
Hamlett said, "At Canal Road and Main Street, which is by The Wharf, down to William Silvers Parkway, we're going to be adding an acceleration lane and turn lanes, and that is going to start in May."
ALDOT officials said that work should last about 80 days, into what they expect to be another busy summer.
TOWN MEETING ADDRESSED TRAFFIC
Just last September, Orange Beach residents attended a town meeting where other traffic problems were addressed.
At the time, Mayor Tony Kennon said the city was looking at adding a median to the middle of Perdido Beach Boulevard.