SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Now that the Coosa River Express has approval from Talladega County, the project needs the green light from Shelby County. Shelby County commissioners have not yet received the full draft of the toll bridge plans.
Tim James Inc. is proposing the construction of a privately funded toll bridge, connecting Highway 280 in Sylacauga to I-65 in Calera. Talladega County Commission voted unanimously to approve the licensing for the project.
The Coosa River Express was not on the Shelby County Commission meeting agenda Monday. This didn’t stop dozens of residents from showing up to share their thoughts with commissioners.
“The disturbance of the lake this is going to cause, the noise pollution and light pollution this is going to create, and lowering property values. That is the biggest concern with it,” said George Kenderdine, a Shelby County Resident.
Tony Miller is the Kingdom Volunteer Fire Chief. He said the county doesn’t have the first responders to keep up with the proposed bridge’s traffic.
“Shelby County does not have the infrastructure or resources to support this bridge,” Miller said.
At the start of the meeting, Shelby County Commissioners pledge to remain transparent to residents, promising no decisions will be made without public knowledge.
“I believe we want to listen to what the people of not only our district but our county have to say. I think a lot of that had to do with how the information was put out on the start. There were a lot of news articles that reference a start date and a completion date. That caused a lot of public concern because they felt like maybe we had approved something behind the scenes, and that had not taken place at all,” said Kevin Morris, District 1 commissioner.
The county engineer expects to receive the full-bridge project proposal from Tim James Inc. in the coming weeks. The commission is creating an email for residents to voice their concerns or support for the project.