Iron Mountain Road extension provides new development opportunities

Anniston city officials and citizens gathered on Saturday for a ribbon-cutting to commemorate the opening of the Iron Mountain Road extension.

The long-awaited roadway offers motorists a direct route between the US-431 Anniston Bypass and Alabama Highway 21 and has given the area a unique opportunity to develop previously untouched land.

“The completion of Iron Mountain Road provides a viable and complete node for access to developable industrial properties, directs links to recreation opportunities and is key for planning future growth and economic marketing,” said Anniston’s Director of Economic Development Toby Bennington. “McClellan can now be further seen with its vast land areas as a grand footprint totally within an Opportunity Zone.”

The long-awaited extension utilizes land once owned by Fort McClellan, an Army base that closed in the late 1990s. The closure resulted in Anniston inheriting thousands of acres of land previously inaccessible for development. This acquisition led to a pivotal partnership between Anniston city officials and the McClellan Development Authority.

The team set a goal to establish a road connector to improve access to the McClellan land, encourage economic growth and reduce drive times. Anniston and the McClellan Development Authority partnered with CDG as the design engineer to help bring that vision to reality.

The completion of Iron Mountain Road has improved access to the McClellan Industrial Park and surrounding areas. This allows industries to utilize a larger pool of employees and sets the tone for future development.

“The project itself is a testament to the successful partnership between the city of Anniston, the McClellan Development Authority and CDG,” said Matt Hawes, CDG’s transportation practice leader.

CDG provided roadway design services, surveying, environmental coordination, geotechnical design, and construction engineering and inspection. Also critical to project success was funding procurement assistance which resulted in more than $4 million in funding from the Alabama Department of Transportation.

“We are excited to have been a part of this project,” Hawes said. “CDG has been engaged in improving the road network here for many years. We feel humbled to be a part of this community and to be able to partner with these organizations to improve this area.”