At the Village Crossroads
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” Mayor Sam Jones recently reminded attendees of a local symposium. Our mayor opened the meeting by talking about how important first impressions are to economic development in Mobile. The Village of Spring Hill faces a similar challenge, and the reconfiguration of our central intersection goes a long way toward reminding visitors and residents alike of the pride we take in our community. Once simply another nondescript intersection, the Village now boasts a high quality community center serving automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic alike.
With six schools within the Village of Spring Hill boundaries, safety was our primary concern in redesigning the intersection at Old Shell and McGregor. An added bonus is the overall appearance, the “first impression” that this intersection makes. After consulting a local engineering firm and the City of Mobile Transportation Department, it was determined that the best way to accomplish this goal was to increase the size of the pedestrian islands, ensure that right lanes are only used for turning, as designed, and make crosswalks larger and more visible with shorter crossing distances. The number of lanes stayed exactly the same to maintain the existing volume of traffic.
Preliminary intersection engineering was donated to the Village of Spring Hill by McCrory Williams Inc. and then presented to the City of Mobile for approval and implementation. The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System removed the fire hydrant in the intersection at no charge, and the signature Village pavers in the crosswalks and islands were sold to the Village of Spring Hill at a reduced cost by Riley Stuart Supply Company. Construction costs for the new intersection, including decorative traffic light poles and crosswalk signals, were funded by City Council Member Gina Gregory with additional support from Council President Reggie Copeland.
Intersection improvements were initiated during the summer months, while schools were out, in order to minimize the traffic delays. Everything went smoothly and the work was actually completed ahead of schedule thanks to excellent oversight by the City of Mobile Engineering Department. We would like to thank City Council Members Gina Gregory and Reggie Copeland for helping bring this project to fruition, creating an impressive “first impression” for the City of Mobile and the Village of Spring Hill as well as enhancing the
safety of our community.