MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Efforts to alleviate traffic congestion in Madison County are causing concerns among Monrovia residents, so engineers of the $13.5 million project to make Jeff Road five lanes wide welcomed public input Thursday.
The proposed construction starts on Jeff Road 0.8 mile south of Capshaw Road and continues north about six miles to Highway 53.
The project is at least three years away from its first phase, but officials wanted to allow residents the chance to be heard.
"We're very early in the design process, so we're just beginning the corridor study and that is the first part of the project that gives us an indication of what the impacts of the project are," said assistant county engineer Houston Matthews.
Most of the residents that came out to the public meeting are worried they will lose their small town to busy roads and big business. Those who voiced their views understand that the area is growing and traffic is increasing, but would prefer three lanes to five.
"Three lanes with a sidewalk and a bike lane accommodates that and it draws people in. Five lanes is Jordan Lane or South Parkway and it pushes people away," said concerned resident Paul Wright.
However, Matthews says at this point their corridor study shows that five lanes are needed.
"The comments tonight have been well received and taken into consideration, but it doesn't change the data we've received and that's the driving factor at this point," said Matthews.
Officials say the project is subject to change based on their on-going study, but it is change that residents fear will make their beloved community unrecognizable.
"We've lived here for fifteen years and we love it and it's calm and it's quiet," said Wright. "I know there are people that want to get through the area as quickly as possible, but we can accommodate them with three lanes."
Comments or questions about the project can still be made part of the official project record until June 1, 2014, by either mail or email.
Madison County Department of Public Works
Mr. Houston Matthews, P.E.
266-C Shields Road
Huntsville, AL 35811
Mr. Scott C. Leach, P.E.
5125-A Research Drive NW
Huntsville, AL 35805
Officials say there will be at least two more public meetings for this project, but it will likely be at least six months before the next one.