State continues with N. Eufaula Ave. widening project despite opposition

State continues with N. Eufaula Ave. widening project despite opposition

EUFAULA, AL (WTVM) - State officials met with a lot of heckling and boos as they addressed a crowded gymnasium of Eufaula residents Tuesday night.

They announced their plans to widen the city's historic boulevard, no matter what.

The state claims that they did a survey of several hundred Eufaula residents, and out of all the respondents, 74 percent were in favor of the proposed changes.

However, very few of them came to the meeting at the Eufaula Community Center where the state described the pros and cons of leaving North Eufaula Avenue alone or making the road wider.

"In this seven-tenths of a mile section, converging two lanes of traffic into one lane, it's causing congestion and backup," said ALDOT Engineer George Conner. "So by establishing two eleven foot lanes, it can relieve congestion and make quality of life for everyone in Eufaula much better."

They explained their reasoning and plans in detail, but the only time they got an applause was when making reference to opposing arguments.

Residents against the changes say it will forever destroy the city's picturesque North Eufaula Avenue considered by many to be part of Eufaula's cultural heritage and identity.

"Leave it the heck alone," said Ray Scott with BASS Fishing Organization. "That's a magnificent historic area that I think is an asset to the state of Alabama.  The one guy who can change it quick is our governor."

"We've had several visits with Governor Bentley to express our concerns about how much this section of road means to the town," added Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs.

The opposition is making a last-ditch effort to appeal to the governor, but so far, the only word from Montgomery is that work will be moving according to schedule.

Many residents are concerned that the roots of the trees in the median will be damaged, but the state's research maintains that the work will have minimal impact on them.

Right now, the plan is for the state to take construction bids in December and they are hoping to have the entire project done by April.

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