Wiregrass Newsroom: Big Changes Means Less Traffic in Dothan

Dothan, AL (WSFA) -- As new businesses take root in Dothan, more cars are hitting the road.

That's why city leaders are undertaking a 12-million dollar project they say will help save you some headaches along the highway.

"Our own residents want to be able to move freely," says City Manager, Mike West.

In a few months, drivers along Highway 231 North will notice some changes between Ross Clark Circle and John D. Odom road.  An additional lane added, both northbound and southbound, will eliminate many left hand turn sites.

In fact, one of the largest left hand turns the city is removing is the main entrance to the new Dothan Pavilion shopping center at Plum road. After construction, drivers will have two main access points--one at the north end of the complex, and the existing one to the south off of Murphy Mill road.

"The whole concept is to keep as much through traffic flowing. We have an area of town that's growing very rapidly because it's primarily a commercial hub. Traffic is increasing exponentially. You gotta learn to utilize what you have the best you can," says West.

And utilizing what the city has is exactly what leaders are trying to do.

While u-turns are built into the plan, the left turns will only be at large intersections like Westgate Parkway, Murphy Mill and Napier Field roads.

"If you've been to a larger city, you've seen this concept over and over again. If you really want to go to the mall, you'll be able to get there.  Based on experience elsewhere, people will actually be able to get there quicker," says West.

And getting there quicker is relief for a growing concern in a growing city.

Reporter: Melissa McKinney