East Florence making turn-around as road project nears and hospital moves forward

FLORENCE, Ala. – Big things are happening in a once stagnant part of Florence. A major traffic construction project is drawing closer, as well as new businesses eyeing east Florence.

The intersection of Royal Avenue and Huntsville Road can be treacherous if you’re not familiar with the area. After years of talking about it, the state and city of Florence are weeks from starting construction on a round-about.

“With traffic and everything, I think people are starting to understand the concept behind it and how that might alleviate it,” stated District 3 City Councilman David Bradley.

The roundabout is just a small part of the bigger picture. Storefronts in east Florence have been empty for decades. In recent months, construction of a new hospital on nearby Veterans Drive is beginning to turn things around.

“Everybody seems to be coming onboard and getting behind it,” said Bradley. “We have a lot of citizens who are excited; as well as business owners.”

Workers can be seen revitalizing vacated buildings; the sound of hammers and saws fill the air. Councilman Bradley says he is over the moon – seeing things take-off like they have.

“We have finally managed to move it in the right direction. There’s a lot of businesses that are coming in. I get phone calls every week from someone wanting to do more things in the area.”

A once thriving part of the city is getting new life. Thanks to the private investment which stands above east Florence. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, the round-about project is set to begin in early June. The city of Florence is also planning a street-scape project for east Florence in conjunction with the round-about.