New Road Project Would Create Gateway To Downtown Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The $100 million Twickenham Square development is currently the largest project in Huntsville's effort to revitalize downtown. City leaders want to do all they can to draw people to the mixed use development.

On Thursday the city council approved the purchase of two medical district office buildings that will be demolished to make way for what they are calling "Gateway Boulevard."

"We've had a tremendous effort in making Huntsville a special place to come, and with our partners and the city's commitment to revitalizing downtown Huntsville. This road will really serve as a gateway to downtown," said Michelle Jordan, city Planning Director.

The project will expand the existing Harvard Road, South of Governors Drive, north to Big Spring Park, ending at Williams Avenue, where Lowe Avenue is now.

It will be four lanes, with a large grassy median, sidewalks, and a bike lane. Plans also call for extending Davis Circle to the roundabout on Monroe Street.

In all the project will cost about $8 million. Well worth it for city planners who hope the expansion will encourage people to get to downtown Huntsville, explore the shops, eat lunch, and spend the day.

"It will serve as an important piece in the puzzle to make downtown really everyone's back yard," said Jordan.

Construction is expected to begin in late May or early June, with the project being completed by Summer 2015.


  • Skillpot

    Huh? “,,,the project being completed by Summer 2015.” Not likely, because of the way contractors operate; they have, in the past, gotten the contract, then do the switch-a-roo, by moving their crews back-and-forth to other jobs, creating a delay!

    Now, let’s see if the contract will have an early completion bonus in it, to prevent the delays?

    Yes, as Frances asked: “explore what shops?”

  • Nuclear Mike

    Go explore Greenville, SC after the Downtown, Inc.guy spent all their money…mostly a ghost town all the time during the week and weekends have long since peaked out over foot traffic…
    Huntsville’s inside ‘click’ needs the Donwtown to be theirs and only theirs…

  • Karinttt

    I don’t see any shops down there that wouldn’t take me a whole 15 minutes to go thru… I don’t see anything that would draw me downtown at all. Once you’ve been to the park, there’s not much left except partying drinkers at night, the expense of parking and a long walk to and from nowhere.

  • Karinttt

    Okay… can’t shut up. Why spend all this money, when there are abandoned huge perfectly fit buildings all over the place in Huntsville? They should be working to get new businesses into these places. We could use some new restaurants, tech and electronic stores, furniture stores, grocery stores in some places, just on an on to fill these buildings that are a blight on Huntsville.

  • Curtis

    I used to extol the Greenville, SC setup. It was certainly an improvement over what they had before. I just doubt they can pull it off here. At first, there’s a novelty and it draws fickle crowds who quickly tire of the same old thing. In the end, both cities like most are fighting sprawl and the move of expansion (and jobs and tax monies) further away from the center. This usually results in empty box syndrome because no one wants to put a business in an overpriced location. Meanwhile there are tax breaks, incentives, etc to draw large businesses to town.

  • Tom

    The anti-downtown whiners who knock Greenville, SC don’t know what they’re talking about. We visit Greenville frequently on weekdays and weekends and in all seasons and their downtown is “hopping”. Great shopping in many boutique stores, numerous restaurants and pubs plus lots of entertainment venues Greenville’s turnaround started with small plans and expanded over the years and Huntsville is moving in the right direction with our master plan.

    • Curtis

      Tom, when I lived in Taylors, I found Greenville to be a 20 min drive but it was nice to hike/bike the long greenway from the falls and eat at the restaurants. It’s not perfect. Huntsville has its greenways but not much beyond Big Spring Park than the drainage ditches, the overpasses, and the jail. I have to admit they are making some progress with the reorganization here. But I also miss the Upstate, SC. Unfortunately there wasn’t much electronic tech there.

  • Bud

    All this while North parkway looks like Hobo alley. University Dr. with the homeless walking the street from the rescue mission looks wonderful also.

  • shake

    I understand that road infrastructure should be first and important before building, for example the Madison City and County situation is awful. But at the same where are the shops downtown. Nobody wants that old crap the existing shops are sailing. We do need more tech stores, healthier food choices, or try and get UAH a football team and stadium.

  • Chuckie39

    Priority problems. What is downtown that really needs a “Gateway”? Oh well, if the same bunch that has done the other downtown street projects gets the job it will be many years after it starts before it is finished. Maybe city leaders should put some effort into finding a use for the bridge to nowhere at Providence.

  • Bob

    Really, WHNT. I really don’t why you just don’t turn commenting off.

    Report the news, but, just forget this community involvement. Let them comment on your Facebook page.

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