|Alabama Highway Director Proposes $250 Million Roads Package for City of Huntsville
December 2, 2013
(Huntsville, AL) - Alabama Director of Transportation John Cooper announced an unprecedented challenge proposal today to provide seven major road projects for the Huntsville area if the city would share half of the $250 million cost. Calling the roads package "transformative" for the metro Huntsville transportation network, Cooper said ALDOT would also commit to starting work on the key road projects within the next five years. He made the announcement during a meeting today with Leadership Huntsville and the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County.
Mayor Tommy Battle said Huntsville is committed to meeting the challenge of improving major roadways that move traffic, and the seven projects outlined by ALDOT meet the City's criteria. "We are grateful for the cooperation of Governor Robert Bentley and Highway Director Cooper in helping to address the region's important infrastructure needs," said Mayor Battle.
The City of Huntsville has been working toward a "Restore Our Roads" plan since spring when ALDOT announced it did not have funding to complete strategic corridors in the Huntsville metro transportation plan. Mayor Battle expressed a sense of urgency in completing the deferred road projects, calling them "an essential component to the future of Huntsville and its quality of life." One of Huntsville's biggest draws is the resident's average 18 minute commute to and from work. As a regional economic center for North Alabama, more than 50,000 people also drive in and out of Huntsville daily from surrounding counties.
"The solution presented today offers the best possible compromise and calls for both state and local governments to rise to the challenge and provide these critically important roadways for the North Alabama region," said Mayor Battle. "These roads present a game changer and a generational opportunity to take care of Huntsville's major transportation projects for the next 20 years. We must do our part to see that construction can begin right away."
The Huntsville area road projects and timelines include:
1. U.S. 72 East at Moores Mill and Shields Road / Epworth Drive (two projects) - 2014
U.S 72 East at Moores Mill and Shields / Epworth Drive
2. South Memorial Parkway Overpasses from Martin Road to Lily Flagg Road -2014
U.S 231 South - Martin Road to Lily Flagg (Overpasses)
3. University Drive Six-Lane from Providence Main to County Line Road - 2016
U.S. 72 West from Providence Main to County Line Road - Upgrade to six lanes
4. North Memorial Parkway Overpasses and Service Roads at Mastin Lake - 2017
S.R. 255 Extension and / US 231 at Mastin Lake (Overpass)
5. South Memorial Parkway - Weatherly Road to Hobbs Road Improvements - 2017
U.S. 231 South - Weatherly to Hobbs Road Improvements
6. Martin Luther King Extension (Northern Bypass) from Pulaski Pike to U.S. Highway 231 - 2017
State Route 255 extension (MLK Ext.) from Pulaski Pike to US 231
7. Cecil Ashburn Drive Improvements - 2017
Mayor Battle said he will meet with his administration, City Councilmembers and area leaders to determine how Huntsville will pay its half of the $250 million over the next five years.
Huntsville Corridor Improvement Plan - 5 Years
For more information, contact:
Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, 256-427-5006 (w), firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the City of Huntsville on Facebook at facebook.com/hsvcity and on Twitter at twitter.com/huntsvillecity