Wetumpka City Council approves study to unclog traffic

By LINDA MILLER The Wetumpka City Council voted 4-1 Monday to spend $9,350 on a study to improve the traffic flow downtown, especially on each end of the Bibb Graves Bridge. Between 17,000 and 21,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day, according to Mayor Jerry Willis, who urged suspending the rules at the last meeting […]

The Wetumpka City Council voted 4-1 Monday to spend $9,350 on a study to improve the traffic flow downtown, especially on each end of the Bibb Graves Bridge.

Between 17,000 and 21,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day, according to Mayor Jerry Willis, who urged suspending the rules at the last meeting to immediately consider approving the study but the move failed.

On Monday, the council approved a study of Highway 212, also known as West Bridge Street, by Skipper Consulting although in a lengthy discussion councilmember Lewis Washington Sr. said it would be a waste of money.

Councilmember Lynnes S. Justiss said parents have complained about the traffic snarls making children late for school but Washington suggested motorists take the Highway 14 bridge and get their children up earlier to get ready for school.

Willis stressed the problem of the intersection at the west end of the bridge because Dozier Street lacks width.

“Encroachments have to be corrected on Highway 212 and Dozier Street,” said Willis, who noted the Alabama Department of requires traffic studies be done by Skipper Consulting before alterations can be made to state highways and the streets feeding into them.

In other business, the council:

• Praised Washington for his work on behalf of a local company to make it easier to get permits for medical helicopters to operate. Washington attended a National League of Cities conference in Washington, D.C., and visited with Rep. Martha Roby and Sens. Richard Shelby and Doug Jones about the issue.

• Approved the back-to-school sales tax holiday July 19-20.

• Approved a fly-in for the airport from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 27.

• Recognized Boy Scouts Troup 13 for their attendance at the meeting.

After the meeting, Willis talked with LaRissa Duke and Rachel Rook about the electric car program at Wetumpka High School. The students are seeking funding for their projects going into a competition May 4-5 in Huntsville.