Getting There: Top road construction, resurfacing and repair projects stretch across Huntsville
Published on February 7, 2019
The City of Huntsville hasn’t seen a year of road work quite like 2019. Engineering is tracking approximately 50 new roadway projects in various stages of design or construction totaling $600 million.
Adding to the list of major road work projects is another $7 million worth of street repaving and $600,000 in street maintenance and repairs.
“Huntsville is a City on the move, and it is critical we keep up with our infrastructure,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “By investing heavily and strategically in expanding and improving our road network, we’ve been able to attract new industry and residents.”
The investment is significant. Included within the FY 19 road budget is more than 160 lane miles of new roadway infrastructure projects totaling $275 million. These are City of Huntsville projects under construction or anticipated to begin construction this year.
“Putting it into perspective, the distance is equivalent to constructing a new two-lane road from Huntsville to Chattanooga,” said Kathy Martin, Director of Engineering.
Martin’s list of road projects stretches across Huntsville, from the Northern Bypass and Parkway overpass at Mastin Lake Drive to Research Park Boulevard, Old Highway 20, and Zeirdt Road, to Church Street downtown, Cecil Ashburn Drive, and Haysland Road. (See complete list below).
“Restore Our Roads” accounts for eight of the key corridor projects, thanks to a visionary cost-sharing agreement between Huntsville and the Alabama Department of Transportation.
In addition to new road projects, the City of Huntsville has also aggressively increased the amount it spends to keep neighborhood streets in good shape. Last year the City spent over $12 million to repave roads and will spend $7 million this year. Contractor bids open next week on the first 51 roads on the City’s 2019 resurfacing list. An additional $1.5 million will be spent to make handicap accessible sidewalk improvements.
“This budget is a commitment to do more resurfacing than we have been able to in the past,” said Chris McNeese, Director of Public Works. “We have an ongoing system of assessing a street’s traffic volume, condition and need so that we can prioritize wisely and spend tax dollars where they matter most.”
Public Works crews are dedicated to extending the useful life of a road by making street repairs, especially during the seasonal appearance of potholes – a repair priority for Public Works.
“Anytime we have temperature extremes and lots of rain, potholes emerge like unwelcome weeds,” said Chris McNeese, Director of Public Works. “Our crews may be called to fix thousands of potholes a week this time of year.”
Thanks to diligent patrolling and citizen reporting through the Huntsville Connect customer service app, Public Works can respond quickly to a reported pothole. Even so, McNeese reminds the public that repairs can be a lengthy process.
“The mix we use to repair potholes is weather and temperature dependent,” said McNeese. “Safety is our first priority, so we’ll often make a temporary patch to ensure drivers are safe until such time we are able to properly address.”
For updates on additional roadwork projects within the City including road closures, visit HuntsvilleAL.gov/RoadworkUpdates.
To report a pothole, visit HuntsvilleAL.gov/HuntsvilleConnect.
Road Work 2019
I. Restore our Road Projects (8 major transportation projects in partnership with ALDOT)
- 2 are completed (US72 East and South Parkway) totaling $70M
- 4 more are anticipated to begin construction this year*
- Cecil Ashburn
- Huntsville Northern Bypass (MLK extensions between Pulaski Pike and North Parkway)
- SR 255 (Research Park Boulevard)
- North Parkway at Mastin Lake
*55 improved lane miles totaling $110M on these major Restore our Road corridors; construction anticipated to begin this year.
II. Local major transportation projects currently under construction utilizing regional MPO funds (partial list)*
- Martin Road Phase I began construction in mid 2018 – mid 2020
- Martin Road Phase II anticipated to begin construction mid year.
- Final phase of Zierdt Road began construction November 2018 -Mid 2021
- Church Street Phase I between Pratt and Monroe began in October 2018 – Late 2020.
*30 lane miles totaling $65M in new roadway improvements
III. Other local roadway projects that are currently under construction or are anticipated to begin construction this year*
- Haysland Road Phase II
- Lowery Boulevard
- Greenbrier Parkway Extension
- Old Hwy 20 Improvement
- Hwy 431 – Turn Lanes/Median Improvements
- Governors Drive/Triana Blvd – Access Management
- Governors House – Lane Modifications w/ Bike Lanes
- Multiple Intersection Improvements/ Signal Timing Optimization
- Pratt Avenue/Five Points – Lane Modification, Parking, & Streetscape
*75 lane miles totaling $100M in new roadway improvements