New traffic adjustments on Highway 31 for better flow with new Athens high school

Many citizens happy about the new high school for students, but they say the traffic on Highway 31 could be a problem.

Posted: Oct. 31, 2017 6:48 PM
Updated: Oct. 31, 2017 7:10 PM

The New Athens High School has about one more year left until it's complete.

It'll be located on Highway 31 right next to the Athens City School Board of Education building and across the street from the old high school.

Many citizens happy about the new high school for students, but they say the traffic on Highway 31 could be a problem.

"Highway 31 is always extremely busy. Honestly, they need more lights, especially in the school zones.," said Brandy Hardick.

Brandy Hardick drives on Highway 31 every day. She says a new high school is needed, but she gets nervous from the current traffic at the old Athens High School, which is on Highway 31.

"Even with the cross walks, half of the time, they don't pay attention. Drivers don't pay attention," Hardick said.

Chris Hamilton with Athens City Schools said the Alabama Department of Transportation has already surveyed the area. $1.5 Million will go towards road improvements for traffic flow on Highway 31 and Highway 251.

"They added a right turn lane, which will take you North on 31 towards the high school. A straight lane which will take you on prior street and a turn left lane with the traffic signal that will take you on 31 south," said Chris Hamilton with Athens City Schools.

"That was the best thing they could have done for us there. It was just two lanes, all of the traffic on 31, you need more than one," Hardick said.

Early next year, there'll also be a new turning lane which will take you south on Highway 31. Plus, there'll be a major entrance for the new high school on Hwy 31.

The $5.2 Million building will hold 1,100 students. It'll include more auditorium and labs for students.
Construction for the new building will be complete by November of 2018.

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