Eufaula community leaders meet with Gov. Bentley

Published 06/13 2014 06:54PM

Updated 06/13 2014 08:43PM

Eight people, including Senator Billy Beasley, Representative Barry Forte, and Mayor Jack Tibbs, met with Governor Robert Bentley in Montgomery yesterday to discuss why they say North Eufaula Avenue should remain a two-lane road.

"He was receptive to our concerns and expressed an interest in taking whatever time was necessary to come to a resolution that would meet the needs of the Dept. of Transportation and the concerned citizens of Eufaula," said Douglas Purcell, coordinator for the group Save North Eufaula Avenue.

They also say the governor plans to discuss the concerns with Alabama Department of Transportation.

"He expressed interest in looking at other engineer studies that could show traffic calming and design issues that could be implemented to keep the highway from being four-laned,” said Purcell.

It includes synchronizing traffic lights and a possible roundabout around the confederate monument.

Eufaula Heritage Association Executive Director Pam Snead was also at the meeting. 

She says a four-lane road would affect the tourists who visit the Shorter Mansion.

"If you stand outside this mansion for 15 minutes, you're going to see somebody slow down and take pictures,” Snead said.  “If we had a four-lane, there would be no way the people could slow down and take pictures."

She's also concerned it would be a safety issue during the 50th annual Eufaula Pilgrimage next year, but after the meeting, she and others are optimistic.

"I'm looking forward to the governor coming, because I feel like, once he sees this, we'll all be able to sit down, and we'll be able to reach a solution," said Snead.

They say the governor plans to visit North Eufaula Avenue within the next several weeks, and they look forward to hosting a reception at Shorter Mansion.

We were unable to reach the governor for a statement today, but a spokesperson says he plans to continue meeting with both sides of the issue until it is resolved.

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