City Leaders Provide Update on Major Infrastructure Projects
August 15, 2019
Mayor Tommy Battle, joined by Urban and Economic Development Director Shane Davis, Director of Engineering Kathy Martin and representatives from the Alabama Department of Transportation, presented the public with an update on the City of Huntsville’s major road projects.
“I’d suggest that one of the biggest elements of quality of life is a quick and safe commute to and from work, school and our daily activities,” Battle said. “In Huntsville, we’ve got that quick and safe commute – an average of about 18 minutes. It’s easy to get from point A to point B here. And we work hard every day to make sure we’re addressing our infrastructure needs to maintain that quick commute while also preparing for the needs of the future.”
Kathy Martin, whose Department of Engineering is tasked with managing much of the day-to-day work of local roadwork projects, including overseeing contractors and design, provided detailed updates on seven ongoing projects, many of which are funded through Mayor Battle’s “Restore Our Roads” cost-sharing agreement with the State of Alabama.
“When complete, Huntsville will have improved nearly 275 critical lane miles and invested almost $600 million dollars into improving the City’s roadway network.”
Cecil Ashburn Drive
Cecil Ashburn Drive is under construction and is on schedule to reopen two lanes of traffic in October 2019. The contractor, Carcel & G, has installed approximately 4,500 feet of asphalt on the east side along the new lanes and approximately 3,000 linear feet of guardrail.
Research Park Boulevard
Research Park Boulevard improvements will begin construction on Monday, August 19, which consists of adding an additional lane in each direction between Old Madison Pike and US Hwy 72.
Four lanes will remain open on Research Park Boulevard daily during construction.
The project also includes new bridges at Old Madison Pike and new ramps at Bradford Drive North Bound and Mid City Drive; however, work on the Old Madison Pike bridge will not start until January 2020, and construction will be staged to allow two lanes of traffic to remain open at all times.
North Memorial Parkway at Mastin Lake Road
Activity should begin on North Memorial Parkway between Mastin Lake and Winchester Road in late 2019. Clearing and utility relocations will occur first to prepare for the project.
Martin Luther King Boulevard Extension (Northern Bypass)
Work will begin in 2020 on the extension of Martin Luther King Boulevard (a part of the future Northern Bypass), between Pulaski Pike and North Memorial Parkway providing the continuation of a 4-lane divided highway from North Memorial Parkway directly to I-565 and further into Redstone Arsenal.
Zierdt Road and Martin Road
Zierdt Road and Martin Road are well into construction. Reed Contracting Services, Inc. is making progress and each road which will have double the existing capacity when completed. Zierdt Road will be a new 4-lane divided boulevard with a multiuse path, while Martin Road will become a 5-lane roadway with bike lanes and sidewalks on each side. Both projects will relieve congestion in the area and provide quick access to Redstone Arsenal. The projects are scheduled to be completed in 2021.
Construction on Church Street between Pratt Avenue and Monroe Street is nearing 50% complete with final completion anticipated for late 2020. This will provide a new and improved corridor into downtown from Oakwood Avenue.
The new Greenbrier Parkway is being extended to complete a 7-mile connection between I-565 to I-65 to provide an alternative route for commuters and to lessen congestion along I-565.
In addition to these roadwork projects, the City of Huntsville is currently managing 27 active construction projects throughout city limits.
“When complete with our current list of roadway projects, Huntsville will have improved nearly 275 critical lane miles,” Martin said. “Not to mention, we will have invested almost $600 million dollars into improving the City’s roadway network.”
Mayor Battle encouraged commuters to take a deep breath, slow down and drive safely on Huntsville roadways.
“We’re building roads for our future, and it’s the responsibility of our citizens to drive safely on those roads not just for the safety of commuters but also for the construction workers who can be in harm’s way due to reckless or inattentive driving.”
Shane Davis, the City’s Director of Urban and Economic Development, added that the vast majority of Huntsville’s current roadway improvements would not have been possible without the Restore Our Roads funding and partnership with ALDOT.
Davis said the City takes an intentionally collaborative and regional approach to developing road networks with an eye on the future wellbeing of the City.
“Our City team continues to look at what’s next,” Davis said. “From connecting a multi-modal Holmes Avenue to the downtown core to widening I-565 and the extension of the interstate system, our community should be proud that with our tremendous growth, there is a rigorous plan to stay ahead of the curve.
For more information on roadwork status, budget and timeline, visit HuntsvilleAL.gov/RoadworkUpdates.