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Huntsville approves grant applications for improvements to Holmes Avenue, Governors Drive

Published on May 9, 2024

The City will move forward with applications for two U.S. Department of Transportation grants focusing on safety and traffic congestion on two busy roadways in the downtown area following City Council approval.

One grant would help pay for construction improvements on a 3.35-mile stretch of Holmes Avenue while the other would help fund a study for improvements on an 8.85-mile stretch of Governors Drive that includes the Medical District. Both projects work toward the City’s goal of zero roadway fatalities or serious injuries by 2055 through Vision Zero.

“These grants emphasize safety and improving traffic flow on two roads that see high volumes of automobile and pedestrian traffic while passing through several residential areas,” said Dennis Madsen, Manager of Long-Range and Urban Planning. “With plans to enhance Holmes Avenue from downtown to Cummings Research Park as well as working closely with Huntsville Hospital on making Governors Drive as safe as possible, we believe the City is an excellent candidate to receive these grants.”

The construction on the Holmes Avenue Medical Access Corridor Project would transform the downtown link to the University of Alabama in Huntsville with new sidewalks, bike lanes and streetlamps that would encourage all modes of transportation through the corridor through better functionality and greater safety. It would also upgrade access to the Medical District for residents living in neighborhoods along Holmes Avenue. The City is seeking $21 million in grant money that would fund 70% of the cost while spending $9 million that would cover the remaining 30%.

The Governors Drive Corridor Study & Medical District Safety Action Plan will present recommendations to better facilitate the increasing traffic flow as well as further accommodate pedestrians in the Medical District. The study area starts at 14th St. SW on the western end and continue east to Caldwell Lane. The City is seeking $640,000 in the federal grant with a 20% City match of $160,000.