Toll roads may soon be a fixture in Alabama, a state that currently has four privately developed bridges that require tolls, but no highways.
State Transportation Director Joe McInnes said he wants to start building elevated lanes on U.S. 280 east of I-459 in Birmingham this year—a project he said would likely require tolls.
The project, which McInnes believes is “critical” in alleviating growing congestion on the highly traveled route from Shelby Country to Jefferson County, will kick off in the planning stages, with U.S. 280 drivers in Shelby County being surveyed on the origins and destinations of the trips they take on that route.
The study, which will be conducted by Figg Engineering Co. of Tallahassee, Fla., will detail how to get elevated U.S. 280 traffic to tie in to I-459, and determine how to pay for the elevated lanes.
The elevated U.S. 280 lane project is one of four major highway projects in Alabama that Department of Transportation is considering tolling. The others are:
I-10 connector from U.S. 231 near Dothan to Florida;
The Montgomery Outer Loop; and
A new I-10 bridge across Mobile Bay.
Tolls are only being considered for new construction, department spokesman Tony Harris said.