Leading up to the peak of the beach vacation season during the Fourth of July holiday, traffic relief is always a hot topic in Orange Beach.
Following is a rundown of upcoming road improvement projects, including the widening of Canal Road.
Canal Road Eastbound Lane
The Canal Road eastbound lane road construction, between the light at Williams Silvers Parkway and State Highway 161, is expected to begin in the fall of 2019. Completion of this second eastbound lane is anticipated to be in December of 2020, weather permitting. The Alabama Department of Transportation is fully funding this project.
Post-BP oil spill RESTORE Act Multiyear Implementation Plan funding is expected to be provided for the second phase of this project. The second phase is comprised of building a Canal Road - Hwy. 161 bypass south of the McDonald’s restaurant within the Orange Avenue right-of-way. The second phase is expected to begin in the fall of 2021.
Wolf Bay Bridge
Construction of the Wolf Bay Bridge is anticipated to begin in 18 months to 2 years. Completion is expected to take 4 to 5 years. Currently, the project is in final roadway and bridge design as well as permit preparation for submittal to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard.
East Canal Road
The City of Orange Beach has taken ownership of Canal Road east of Hwy. 161 from ALDOT, and improvements are forthcoming thanks to post-BP oil spill RESTORE Act State Implementation Plan funding approved for the project.
With the expected release of funding in the fall of 2019, Canal Road will be widened to three lanes from Hwy. 161 to Wilson Boulevard and a traffic circle will be added on Canal Road, just east of the Adult/Senior Activity Center and public library complex. The traffic circle is expected to remedy the chronic problem of vehicles doing U-turns to get to businesses on the north side of Canal Road near the Hwy. 161 intersection.
The project is expected to begin in the fall of 2019 with completion in the fall of 2020.
Lauder Lane Turn Lane and Traffic Signal at Canal Road
The city is expected to begin construction of a Lauder Lane turn lane onto eastbound Canal Road in the fall of 2019. ALDOT is currently performing a warrant analysis to determine whether the City can fund and install a traffic light at the Lauder Lane/Canal Road intersection. The traffic signal will be programmed to work in sync with the Gulf Bay Road traffic signal.