Brundidge holds another city planning meeting today, residents urged to attend

Published 7:30 pm Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The city of Brundidge could see some marked changes in the near and distant future, and residents will have an opportunity to offer their input on those changes today.

Tracy Delaney of the South Central Alabama Development Commission (SCADC) has been guiding city leaders and residents in the development of a comprehensive city plan aimed at realizing a vision for the community.

The plan consists of short and long-term strategies, and today an open house will be held at Brundidge Station where residents can see for themselves just what could be in store for the city.

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One topic of the plan that has been of particular interest to residents and stakeholders has been transportation, and specifically the need for a truck route around Brundidge.

Delaney and Consultant Darrell Skipper have proposed a viable short term solution that they say would help cut down on 18-wheeler traffic through downtown while not causing too much of an inconvenience for truckers.

Trucks traveling south down Highway 93 from Banks would be rerouted to the west at Veterans Blvd to U.S. Highway 231 where they could proceed south.

Northbound tractor-trailers would be forced to bypass the city as well along the same route.

Those 18-wheelers traveling east or west on S.A. Graham Blvd would still be permitted to pass through downtown, although thru-traffic would be prohibited from turning at Main Street.

Skipper said the new route could very well be implemented by end of the year.

“Discussions with the Department of Transportation can start immediately as soon as the city adopts the strategy,” he said.

Both Skipper and Delaney have said the main objective of the detour is not only to reduce the amount of big-rigs barreling through the city, but also to eliminate the dangerous turns those trucks have to make at the intersection of S. E. Graham Blvd. and Main Street, without hindering industrial traffic.

“They (the City) want to accommodate the best way possible,” Delaney said.

Skipper said mapping out a route that would eliminate the need to take the tight turn in the center of Brundidge could be one way to help make those accommodations.

“If I was a trucker, the last thing I would want to do is turn at that intersection,” he said.

Development of a “commercial highway corridor” will also be a topic of interest that residents can explore today.

That plan would involve strategic development along U.S. Highway 231 with limited access points. Delaney envisioned “gateway” commercial areas at the three entrances to Brundidge from U.S. Highway 231. Those gateways would ideally encourage travelers to move further into the city to support businesses downtown and enjoy the city’s charm.

Commercial planning and transportation efficiency were just a few of the topics that have been discussed in the many meetings held by the SCADC in numerous sessions over the last several months.

The open house will be a come-and-go affair from 4 to 6 p.m. today. Displays will be setup where residents can learn more about ideas to improve infrastructure, housing, community facilities and land use.

Additional economic development and transportation strategies will be shown as well.

Two days after Brundidge residents made their voices heard in the polls, they are being asked to do so again and play an active role in the evolution of the city.