Huntsville officials provide progress report on Zierdt Road, Martin Road projects
Published on August 2, 2021
Two of Huntsville’s most critical road projects, improvements to Zierdt and Martin roads, have made significant progress over the past year. Both are essential to not only ensuring smooth traffic flow in and out of a booming residential sector, but also Redstone Arsenal.
During a recent town hall event, officials with Huntsville’s Engineering Department provided updates on both projects and explained the light at the end of the construction tunnel gets brighter each week. Zierdt Road is expected to hit “substantial completion” stage by October, while the Martin Road project is slated to wrap up next spring.
District 5 Council Member John Meredith, who hosted the town hall, said the improvements represent a significant quality of life improvement for residents and commuters.
“From River Landing to Lake Forest to Edgewater and all neighborhoods in between, getting to and from the Arsenal, Town Madison, the Shoppes at Redstone Square, or even downtown Huntsville by using the new eastbound ramp onto I-565 at Toyota Field, your travel time will be shorter and far less stressful than it has been for years,” he said.
The estimated price tag for both multiphase projects is nearly $100 million. Kathy Martin, director of City Engineering, said the projects couldn’t happen without federal and state partners. She also explained utilizing those funds can often mean additional workdays on a contract because federal and state road authorities have specific regulations regarding road design, land acquisition and construction contracts.
“There are clauses and specifications we must follow, which extends the project, but we have to depend on federal and state dollars to do the larger projects that serve the entire community,” she said.
Dating back to 2018, the $30 million Zierdt Road project goes beyond widening and resurfacing the increasingly crowded thoroughfare. Contractors are also adding a 12-foot multiuse path on the western side of the road. The project also included lane additions to the Madison Boulevard and Martin Road intersections.
Project engineer Jacob Stephens said the project should reach the “substantial completion” stage by late October and should be usable by the public.
He added the contractor is currently “dressing up a few areas,” though there are a few more items to handle. A traffic signal at the intersection of the Mountain Brook subdivision is now on flashing mode and will soon be permanently removed. Infrastructure for a new traffic signal at Edgewater Drive is also in place and awaits new signal heads.
The contractor will soon focus on completing median work, which Stephens said will require lane shifts.
Beginning in 2015 inside Redstone Arsenal, improvements to Martin Road have spanned multiple phases. When completed, Martin Road will have five lanes for traffic, and 4-foot bike lanes and sidewalks on each side from Old Jim Williams Road to Zierdt Road.
Stephens said the contract time for the current phase is 350 working days, and 58 working days – roughly four and a half months – remain. A significant step is installing a new eight-barrel, 10-by-10-foot box culvert extension at Betts Springs. Once the eastbound extension is complete, the contractor can then remove the old bridge and complete the westbound extension. The road can then reopen to traffic.
The current phase should be completed by spring 2022.
The next phase will extend Martin Road from Old Jim Williams Road to Laracy Drive. Martin said about 90% of the project design is complete, and utility companies are working on their relocation plans.
“We’ll get the majority of the utilities out of the way so when the road contract is let, it will move faster,” she said, adding she is hopeful the project could begin in mid-2022.
Stay up to date on these and other ongoing road improvement projects by visiting https://www.huntsvilleal.gov/roadworkprojects.