Zierdt Road Improvements
Published on April 24, 2017
This is a four-phase, multi-jurisdictional project along Zierdt Road from Madison Boulevard to Martin Road. The road is being widened to 4-lanes with a 12-foot wide multi-use path on the west side of the roadway. The project is 3.5 miles long and will be bid and constructed in phases as right-of-way is acquired and funding is made available.
The final phase (IV) of improvements on Zierdt Road will consist of 3.5 miles of 2- Southbound lanes, 12-foot multi-use path on the west side, 7-lanes at the intersection of Martin/ Zierdt and 6-lanes at the intersection of Madison/Zierdt. The intersection work will take the longest since both will be constructed while under traffic conditions.
Paving of the final wearing surface is complete at the intersection of Madison Boulevard, along Shelton Road and Zierdt Road south to Mountain Brook Boulevard. All lanes of traffic are open at the Madison Boulevard intersection and all four lanes of Zierdt Road are open from Madison Boulevard to south Mountain Brook Boulevard. The permanent striping and pavement reflectors are completed for this area, and the Mountain Brook Subdivision traffic signal has been removed.
Work continues to reconstruct the southbound lanes of Zierdt Road from Edgewater Drive to Martin Road to include new drainage, curb, subgrade, paving and a multiuse path. Traffic has been shifted to the outside lanes along Zierdt in both the northbound and southbound directions. Crews are working in the median to finish the rest of the curb and pour channelizing islands at each crossroad. Work in this area is about 85% complete. Crews have completed all drainage and grading work and sod is continues to be placed as areas are completed. The final layer of asphalt will be placed once the remaining concrete work is completed.
Crews continue to work on Martin Road at the Zierdt Road intersection. Traffic has been shifted to the middle of the road so sidewalks and grading can be completed behind the curb. Traffic will then be shifted to the outside lanes so the concrete median islands can be poured on the west side of the intersection. The final asphalt layer will be placed once all concrete work is complete.
Huntsville Utilities has installed streetlights along Zierdt Road between Asbury Woods and Redstone Square. Design is completed and materials have been ordered to finish lighting the remainder of Zierdt Road from Madison Boulevard to Martin Road and Martin Road from Zierdt Road to Old Jim Williams Road The lights will be installed when the material arrives.
The projected completion for the entire project is fall 2021, weather permitting.
See Zierdt Road FAQs below.
Updated Sept. 16, 2021
COST & FUNDING
Estimated Cost: $21 Million
Source of Funding: Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP)
Contractor: Wiregrass Construction Co.
Zierdt Road is a major infrastructure project proceeding in accordance with federal funding requirements. Projected to be a 10-12 year project, Zierdt is now in its fourth and final phase of work.
No. Zierdt Road is a multijurisdictional project proceeding in accordance with federal criteria. Unlike other City-funded and managed projects, the roadwork involves the Federal Highway Administration, State of Alabama, Redstone Arsenal, Madison County, and the cities of Huntsville and Madison. The Alabama Department of Transportation administers the funding for construction per federal regulations. Through every step of the process, State and cities must meet federal regulations for design and construction standards, environmental assessment procedures, and acquiring right of way. There are no shortcuts in this lengthy federal process.
Yes. Several years into the project design, public input sessions asked for the addition of a pedestrian and bike path. A 12-foot-wide multiuse path was added on the west side changing the scope of work and the need to acquire additional right of way affecting the construction timeline. Due to scope changes and rising construction costs, what began as a $7 million project for one intersection eventually climbed to $25 million; taking the project from Martin Road through the intersection of Zierdt Road and Madison Boulevard. Federal and State entities are paying 80 percent of the cost with Huntsville paying 15 percent and Madison 5 percent.
Zierdt Road is a phased project. The Zierdt project started design in 2010 with a plan to widen the 3.5-mile road, from Madison Boulevard to Martin Road, to four lanes. Money was scarce so the project was divided into four phases to ensure resources were available to pay for the work. In 2009, the decision was made to dedicate funds from the Metropolitan Planning Organization in four phases, every three years, to finance the road improvements. Each project phase would take an estimated two to four years to complete. Contractors have completed three phases and are currently working on the final phase of the project.
Yes. Through each phase of construction, Zierdt Road has been kept functional for traffic. Closing the road for expedited completion was not an option in this location. Even with the inconvenience for motorists, Zierdt Road is in better shape and can accommodate traffic just as it did before work started. Meanwhile, Huntsville has moved forward with work to widen Martin Road, and make improvements to the northbound lanes near Edgewater Drive to ease future maintenance and flooding concerns. When complete, the City will have invested $70 million in new infrastructure to improve Gate 7/Martin/Zierdt Road.
No. This project is unique in many ways, some of which we have explained in the previous questions and answers – federally funded, federal guidelines and criteria, multi-jurisdictional, phased project, road open to traffic during construction, extensive right of way acquisition, change of scope, weather delays, etc. The graphic below may help illustrate some of the key differences.
Cecil Ashburn is not yet complete and work was not slowed down by weather conditions since it involved blasting rock on top of a mountain while Zierdt Road is being constructed in a low lying wet area that requires many feet of fill to raise the roadway. The contractor only had three working days in January due to wet site conditions.
Yes. The project includes widening and raising the intersection of Martin/Zierdt to seven lanes and Madison/Zierdt to six lanes. The intersection work will take the longest since both will be built while traffic is still flowing. To ease traffic congestion, crews may only work on the intersections from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or at night and on weekends because of critical traffic flow in these areas.
The project should finish in Fall 2021, but we are fully aware inclement weather could create further delays. Even if the day is sunny after a rainy period, the wet ground can prevent contractors from working.
We can’t control the weather, but please know that all federal, state and local entities involved continue to press the contractor to move as quickly as possible to complete the project. There is light at the end of the tunnel, the final result is residents will end up with a highly functioning corridor, complete with bike and walking paths, and the ability to support future growth.
Updated June 28, 2021