FOLEY – New routes are giving Foley drivers more north-south options through the city.
The extension of North Pecan Street Foley opened Wednesday morning. The project, about 2,000 feet long, creates a new route from East Peachtree Avenue to Fern Avenue.
The extension of Juniper Street from its current southern end at Miflin Road, Baldwin County 20, to Alabama 59 is also on schedule. Crews should finish that work by summer, Chad Christian, city engineer, said.
Plans for another project to extend South Pecan Street from Lay Lane to Pride Drive should start later this year.
Mayor Ralph Hellmich said Foley is working to improve access around the city in areas such as the site of the North Pecan Street extension.
“Our northeast quadrant has fewer roads than the other quadrants,” Hellmich said. “It’s a challenge. You almost have to go around the world to go anywhere over there. We hope to continue to open roads up. We want to open Pecan Street all the way through that last section to Highway 98 from Fern and that will be about a mile.”
He said the city’s 10-year road plans calls for improved access in a that growing area of Foley.
“It just allows the people in that area more needed connectivity as we see the northeastern quadrant develop, which will happen,” Hellmich said.
City crews did much of the work on North Pecan Street with the asphalt work being put out to bid.
Juniper Street is the most extensive of the three projects now planned to improve north-south access.
The project extends Juniper south from Miflin Road, Baldwin County 20, then turns to the southwest and then west to link with Alabama 59 at Baldwin County 20 South.
That project will cost about $4.53 million.
“We expect it to alleviate the congestion at Miflin Road and 59,” Christian said. “To a degree, obviously people still want to go to Chick fil A, but it will take some of the congestion off.”
Christian said the project is on schedule. Most of the work should be completed by summer. Work also continues on the traffic signals at the intersections on both ends of the extension.
“If anything delays it, it would be lead time delays on materials for the traffic signals,” Christian said. “That’s a big one due to supply chain disruptions and there aren’t already a lot of companies that make those materials, those big aluminum poles. Every job is custom.”
The next north-south road project planned is an extension of South Pecan Street. Hellmich said the new road will improve access south from U.S. 98 to Pride Drive.
“It connects South Pecan where it ends at Lay Lane to where the traffic circle is on Pride Drive,” Hellmich said. “That means that you will be able to get on James Road all the way down to south of 12 and you’ll be able to drive all the way to 98 on Pecan Street. So, that gives you another north-south connector allowing people to stay off 59 and the Beach Express.”
Christian said the property for the right of way needed for the South Pecan extension has been donated and plans are being developed for the road. He said city crews will also do much of the work and the laying of the asphalt will also be put out to bid on that project.