DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Road closed and detour signs are going up in Decatur. It's the beginning of a project that may cause motorists some initial headaches. But it's designed to eliminate congestion at one of the River City's worst intersections.
This is where the first part of the utilities work is underway. Decatur Utilities is in the process of moving lines at several intersections along and under Wilson and Church Streets in order to make way for ALDOT to come in and start a major reconstruction project.
"The State of Alabama Department of Transportation is rerouting the traffic flow from Sixth Avenue to Highway 20. As part of that project, Decatur Utilities is relocating gas and water mains along the intersections that are affected by that project," according to Decatur Utilities spokesperson Joe Holmes.
It's a five to six month project that has to be done before state road crews come in and begin the actual work on the intersection of Highways 20 and 31, along with the roadway along Highway 20 leading up to the intersection. "We're replacing the gas and water mains that run beneath the intersections and that will allow us to tie those back into the existing lines that run along the streets and that will allow the state to come in and do their build-up of the road and not be worried about the utilities that are underneath them," Holmes said.
Much of the roadway along Wilson Street, or Highway 20, will be repaved and next year improvements at the actual intersection will begin. This phase of the project is not expected to cause any major traffic problems. But that utility work is really just the precursor for what is about to happen here at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Wilson Street. The state plans to come in and completely re-do the intersection, adding a new turn lane, in hopes that traffic will move through here a lot quicker than it does now.
The work at that intersection is on ALDOT's agenda for next year.