Project may four-lane Highway 87 from Troy to Springhill

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 26, 2002

Features Editor

A two-lane strip of highway between Troy and Springhill was the subject of discussion at a public meeting this week.

The Department of Transportation 7th Division in Troy held the meeting in an effort to gauge public sentiment regarding a project to four-lane heavily traveled Highway 87 between Troy and Springhill.

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"The amount of traffic on that highway has increased significantly over the past few years," said Mike Griffin, division engineer. "The amount of beach traffic is increasing and also a large number of people are moving to that area. There is just a lot of traffic for a two-lane to handle. We wanted to see how the public feels about the project."

Griffin also cited the growing number of commuters from Enterprise and Elba to Troy and from Troy to those Coffee County towns as accounting for increase in traffic on Highway 87.

Griffin said he was pleased with the number of residents who attended the meeting.

"That showed that there is a lot of interest in the project," he said. "Most of the people were in favor of the four-laning the highway. A few had some concerns."

The main concerns were about hazardous materials, such as those that might surface when a gas station is repositioned. Griffin said there were also some questions about old structures regarding age and prior ownership.

"The purpose of the meeting was to get input from the public on issues like those and also ideas about the the right-of-way," Griffin said.

Some residents suggested the new lanes should be on the right side of the existing highway; others thought it should be on left.

In the event the project goes through, it’s likely that some of the new roadway would be on both sides," Griffin said. "If we find an insurmountable situation, it’s likely that some stretch of the new highway would be relocated completely."

"Griffin said some good points were raised in the meeting and that nothing was set in concrete.

"It was a preliminary meeting and there will be several others," he said. "This project is in the planning stages right now. Any construction will probably be five years down the road."

The project will, in all probability be two-fold. Project one will be a one-mile five-lane strip from where the existing five-lane ends to the Pike County Lake Road. Project two will be to four-lane Highway 87 from the five-lane to where the highway intersects with Highway 167 at Ward’s Grocery in Springhill.

"The project will be a federal aid project and could be accelerated or slowed down depending of the availability of funds," Griffin said.

Those who were unable to attend the preliminary meeting may voice their support or concerns in writing through Aug. 2.

Griffin said he encourages the public to do so.

"We want the input because it is very beneficial to look seriously at this project," he said.