“Restore Our Roads” I-565 Project Delayed
(Huntsville, AL) –The City of Huntsville’s only Interstate highway won’t be receiving additional lanes for at least another six to 12 years.
Construction was scheduled to begin next year to widen I-565 to six lanes from Wall-Triana Highway to I-65, but the Alabama Department of Transportation said it did not have the money for the work. ALDOT has delayed the three-phase, $70 million project until 2019, 2020 and 2025.
“I-565 is the major route to get in and out of Huntsville for tens of thousands of commuters each day,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “If you drive along I-565 around 7:30 in the morning or 5 in the afternoon, you will see traffic backed up. It may be a nuisance today, but it will be a serious problem tomorrow.”
Traffic engineers project the volume on this stretch of highway to increase by at least 30,000 vehicles in the next 15 years. That means the road will be over capacity before work can begin.
The I-565 project is among $450 million in Huntsville area road improvements delayed by ALDOT in May. The state did award Madison County about $80 million in road funds through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP). City leaders say those funds are being used to pay for resurfacing projects, bridge repairs and small connector work – not roads that move traffic.
“While we realize many of the roads being addressed in ATRIP are important, they are collectors in our road system,” said Mayor Battle. “We must find a way to address the completion of and upgrades to our major roads that move volumes of traffic quickly.”