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Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments Director of Planning and Transportation Jesse Turner chats with Doug Parker and Jerry Hudson Tuesday at the Florence Public Library about the Shoals Metropolitan Planning Organization's Transportation Improvement Program. [RUSS COREY/TIMESDAILY]

FLORENCE — Doug Parker said he's concerned about traffic on U.S. 72 near the site of the proposed Lauderdale County Agricultural Events Center, which is near where he lives and owns property.

That was one reason he and his friend Jerry Hudson came to the Florence Public Library Tuesday to view the Shoals Metropolitan Planning Organization's Transportation Improvement Program, a short-range set of highway improvement projects.

Traffic on U.S. 72, Parker said, is often backed up to Shoal Creek in the mornings.

"It's only getting worse," he said.

Unfortunately, expanding U.S. 72 from Indian Springs to the Shoal Creek Bridge is not in the TIP. It is, however, on the long-range transportation plan.

Parker and Hudson were the only people to come view the plan, said Jesse Turner, director of planning and transportation for the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments. Residents had the opportunity to speak NACOLG planning and transportation employees and a representative of the Alabama Department of Transportation about upcoming highway improvement projects, such as the widening of Rickwood Road in Florence and Cox Boulevard in Sheffield, and replacing the bridge over Cypress Creek on Lauderdale 16.

Turner said it's frustrating more people aren't interested in learning about upcoming highway improvement projects.

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(1) comment

Mike Kelly

People are interested but know Florence will do as they please regardless of input from the public. On the County road 7 and Highway 17(Chisholm Road) intersection there has been much input, including my own, on the timing of the light and/or loop and/or lack of a loop. When there is no cross road traffic there should be little to no wait time on a red light.

What happened to the passing zone on Highway 17 by Whispering Wind Drive? One of the few safe and legal passing zones eliminated after the repaving?

Shoals Creek Bridge on 72 was kept for "Historical" reasons but it is fenced off with no access while the bridge is rusting as the paint(likely lead paint) is flaking off into Shoals Creek.

Show me where showing up made a difference and I might show up myself.

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