Shedding light on the subject

Published 6:35 pm Monday, September 15, 2008

It’s amazing just how much a difference lights can make, especially for the City of Jemison. In just 10 days, the Alabama Department of Transportation will be awarding the bids to install lights at the Exit 219 on Interstate 65.

According to Mayor Eddie Reed, the project will put about 130 lights at the exit, which should improve road safety and security at the interchange and areas along County Road 42 near I-65. The project is expected to cost about $1.2 million, and construction should begin around the first of next year.

You might not think lighting at an exit is important for business development, but Reed says otherwise.

“Lights are crucial to the development of our exit,” Reed said in a story last Friday. “That has been the first question anyone has asked if they were interested in putting a business on the exit.”

Jemison will likely see development at the exit to help increase the amount of revenue coming to the town. This interchange is one of the few interchanges between Alabaster and Montgomery that aren’t fully developed. That means there is plenty of room for growth, and city leaders can now use this information to help attract new businesses to the area.

Lighting isn’t the only issue that must be addressed at this exit. Eventually, the bridge crossing the interstate may need to be replaced with a wider bridge, and that portion of County Road 42 may need some additional repaving and widening.

However, lights are a step in the right direction. Reed said the city didn’t have the kind of money necessary to put in the proper lighting at the exit. They are grateful for everyone who has worked hard to get the project rolling including the state and national representatives. It is good that city leaders pressed the issue to get additional lights there.

ALDOT has been doing a good job trying to address road improvement concerns here. Several projects are in progress while others are in planning stages. We hope that trend continues.