Shelby County residents display opinions over proposed Coosa River toll bridge


COLUMBIANA, Ala. (WIAT) — Some Shelby County residents are displaying their opinions proudly on the Coosa River Express; in their front yards.

The Coosa River Express is a proposed toll bridge that would connect Shelby and Talladega County, crossing the Coosa River. The project still needs the approval of the Shelby County Commission before construction can begin.

Those opposed to the bridge are concerned it will ruin the calm and quiet way of life residents are used to in Columbiana. Frank West lives in Perkins Landing. He said he would not have bought a home there had he known a toll bridge would be considered.

“We are 300 yards away from where a toll bridge will be with transfer truck going across day and night,” West said. “So no, we’re not excited about it.”

Tim James is the man heading the project. He said a bit of noise is a small trade-off for the historic economic development he says this would bring the area.

“But yes it is a road, and there is a going to be more traffic and there’s going to be more noise,” James said. “At the same time, you can’t have growth without traffic.”

A public involvement meeting is scheduled for Feb. 18th to allow residents to ask questions and read up on the impacts the Coosa River Express will have on the area.

Toll bridges have become a topic of discussion amongst lawmakers as well. On Wednesday, a bill was introduced that would require voter approval in counties considering toll bridges.

A summary of HB210


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