Dothan supports petition against four-lane road in Eufaula

Dothan supports petition against four-lane road in Eufaula

The City of Eufaula is not alone in its efforts to preserve its historic road. The Dothan Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced its support for the effort, and it's one of several other organizations backing the "Save North Eufaula Avenue" campaign.
Opponents of a four-lane road in Eufaula's historic district say it would lower property values, kill their historic trees and hurt the city's tourism revenue.
Opponents of a four-lane road in Eufaula's historic district say it would lower property values, kill their historic trees and hurt the city's tourism revenue.
According to the Dothan Convention and Visitors Bureau, tourism is a major industry in the Dothan area, employing more than 3,000 people directly and indirectly.
According to the Dothan Convention and Visitors Bureau, tourism is a major industry in the Dothan area, employing more than 3,000 people directly and indirectly.
Some say it's a bottleneck, and a pain in the neck to travel through. 

That's why the Alabama Department of Transportation wants to turn the two-lane North Eufaula Avenue into a four-lane road.

But Dothan is joining forces with other cities who are speaking up against such a move. 

And while some cities have no historic district, unlike Eufaula, many have several other revenue-generating options.

"In the case of Eufaula, they do have a wonderful historic district, and I would hate to see them lose any of that and would hope that they could work out some kind of compromise between the Alabama Department of Transportation and maybe build a bypass," said Bob Hendrix, Executive Director of the Dothan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

He and others would like to see a bypass like Dothan's Ross Clark Circle, but limited to the west side of Eufaula, based on its geography.  But it's an option the state has already made clear it won't consider.

And after turning most of U.S. 431 into a four-lane road, the state wants finish the last half-mile in Eufaula.

"We do not need them to find a different way to go to the beach.  So we do need that traffic either coming through or around Eufaula through Dothan all the way down to the beach,” Hendrix said.  “So it's very important, but we do not want to see them lose their wonderful historic district."

And he says people traveling south down U.S. 431 do a lot for the City of Dothan.

"They stay in our hotels, they eat in our restaurants, they shop in our stores, they create sales tax, they create lodgings tax, and this, in turn, helps keep taxes lower for the average household in the Dothan area,” said Hendrix.

So for just a small stretch of road, many say it's a big cause worth fighting for.

Community leaders in Eufaula are still planning to meet with state lawmakers in hopes of finding a solution.
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