IRONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) – A portion of Grants Mill Road in Irondale will reopen Wednesday afternoon after being closed for nearly a year and a half for construction.
A two-lane roundabout at Grants Mill Road and Old Leeds Road is expected to open up Wednesday afternoon. Irondale police says officers will increase patrols to make sure traffic is flowing smoothly through the new pattern.
“This is a temporary stripe and so they want to finish the striping, they want to make sure that they get some signs up so that people will have signage to help them navigate the roundabout,” says Helen Hays, director of public information for Jefferson County.
Though the roundabout is set to be open to traffic, Irondale police are still recommending people use detours as construction won’t be over. Work is still being done on the widening of Grants Mill Road so barrels and construction equipment will still be around in the area.
“We want people to be really careful, you know, somebody working on the side of the road,” Hays said.
While there will be increased police presence for the first day of the roundabout, the county does not think there will be an increase in car crashes due to the traffic flow change.
“The fact that it’s a roundabout already makes it safer, so we’re not really concerned about an increase in accidents because that’s the nature of roundabouts,” Hays said. “The angle that it causes cars to enter at is much less dangerous than a traditional lighted intersection.”
Irondale City Council President David Spivey says while the roundabout will be a new adjustment for people in the community, he thinks it will improve traffic flow overall.
“After people go through it for a few times it’s going to be like nothing so I don’t anticipate any undue stress on the community or anything,” Spivey said. “I know that the police department is working with the community, sending out ‘hey this is how this works’ type of situation so hopefully no one goes straight through it or pulls a Dukes of Hazard or anything but we’re optimistic that the community’s going to be just fine.”
The county says construction on the rest of Grants Mill Road is expected to be finished on schedule by mid-September.