By Edna Ward

Opelika Observer

The City of Opelika has a road construction project in progress to connect North and South Uniroyal Road that will go straight across U.S. Highway 280/431 when completed.

This will alleviate the staggered connection as it is now. A right turn lane is being added to 280/431 East. Presently anyone wishing to drive south from the West Point Highway (U.S. Highway 29 North) on North Uniroyal Road must cross traffic on 280/431 and turn left then go a few blocks and turn right onto South Uniroyal Road.  When the current project is finished, North Uniroyal Road will go straight across 280/431 and then will bear left to connect into South Uniroyal Road, which terminates into Highway 169.

Opelika city engineer Scott Parker said Opelika is aware of traffic problems at several locations in Opelika.  Traffic studies are on-going and plans to find relief for existing problems are in progress.

According to information sent out by the city Wednesday, the South Uniroyal intersection is now open at the relocated position.

“There will be a connector road that will join the existing South Uniroyal to the new connection to Columbus Parkway,” the press release reads. “The existing access of South Uniroyal to Columbus Parkway will remain open at this time as well, until the traffic light is installed at the new intersection, so that those needing to turn left or west on US 280 will have better access and can do so with less wait.”

Parker said, “Traffic studies must be done to prove the flow and need for a traffic signal. We intend to study the traffic flow, prove the need and make the application for a traffic signal.”

According to the city release, the traffic signal should be up in a matter of weeks. Until then, a stop sign will be installed to help control the traffic.

Parker continued, “The old South Uniroyal Road connection to 280/431 will be closed later. This new access will make a safer entrance and exit to South Uniroyal Road.”

While all these changes take place, motorists are asked to drive carefully and be courteous as citizens become aware of and familiar with the changes.