AUBURN, Ala.- At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Auburn City Council entered into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for them to do a feasibility study to see if the construction of an outer loop would be feasible.
Interim City Manager Jim Buston said that the city has long understood the need for an outer loop. Buston said the city wants to be ready due to the fact that President Donald Trump’s administration announced that there may be a lot of money for infrastructure projects.
The study would take six months to one year to complete and would look at existing road networks and other impediments that may be along the way such as historic structures or parks.
The city says the current bypass, Shug Jordan Parkway, has done a tremendous job handling traffic, but the city wants to be ready for the future as the city keeps growing. In addition, they want to have another option for getting around the city.
“We’re growing,” Interim City Manager Jim Buston said. “Anything that can help us alleviate the traffic bottlenecks, anything that can help us distribute traffic around the city and not congregate it in one area.”
Public Works Director and City Engineer, Jeff Ramsey, said that the city has some ideas of where the loop could go. He said the idea of tying it into Cox Road near Exit 50 on Interstate 85 makes sense, as well as tying into the 280/147 intersection. Ramsey also added that the city would like to tie it in to help alleviate some of the traffic issues on Richland Road.
“We do an analysis on our traffic, and we’ve had pretty good traffic flow in Auburn,” Ramsey said. “Obviously, there are certain times of the day where it gets a little bit congested, but this is more of a planning issue looking ahead to the future. We just don’t want to get to the point where we’re behind the curve and trying to catch up. We’re trying to get ahead of it.”