HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - It's a road project we're all to familiar with here at WHNT News 19. The Holmes Avenue bridge is still blocked from both sides.
The detour is a frustrating one for drivers. However, long time businesses that line Holmes Avenue also have to deal with the roadblock everyday.
ATRIP, or the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, is funding this portion of the reconstruction. The work includes widening the creek channel to improve water flow and installing a modern bridge with sidewalks and handrails similar to newer bridges on Clinton Avenue and Heart of Huntsville Drive.
Linda Booth finds herself in the middle of it all. With the road cutoff right before you come to C T Feed & Seed on Holmes, the construction has become a burden to her and her customers.
"We have to give directions a lot," she said.
You can see the business from I-565. From there, it doesn't look very complicated to drivers. Just exit, and head west on Holmes Avenue. But, once you hit the bridge work, Booth said that's when the confusion starts.
"They'll call and ask, 'how do I get to your place of business. The bridge... I can't come through that street. How do we get there?'"
Booth said customers aren't too happy when she tells them they have to take the long way around, the detour.
"If you're coming from downtown, it's like a maze to the place of business here," said Booth.
Drivers heading toward downtown from the Butler High School area should turn right on Woodson Street, left on Clinton Avenue and left again on Monroe Street to get back to Holmes. The route is reversed for Holmes Avenue motorists leaving downtown: left on Monroe, right on Clinton and right again on Woodson.
Booth said it's an inconvenience that has puzzled her regular, weekly customers.
"They're in here every week and they can't figure out why is it taking so long, and what was wrong with the bridge in the first place," Booth wondered. "It looked great."
The ATRIP project started just over seven months ago. The bridge closed in February. They did originally estimate the work would take 10 months. The construction is 70 percent completed, and is expected to reopen in January 2015.