Crews plan to widen road behind Russellville Middle School

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A project to widen a well-traveled road behind Russellville Middle School is set to start soon, however, city leaders said it may not be ready for the first day of school.

With the number of parents who chose Parliament Street as their route to school, Franklin county engineer and city councilman David Palmer said it’s time to upgrade, widen and make the narrow road safer.

“We surveyed the road and learned there’s somewhere around 2,000 vehicles a day on this road during the school. It’s not like that when school’s not in,” he said.

Homeowners along Parliament said they’re not surprised that 1,500 parents travel the small road every day because of an access road leading directly to the back of the middle school, making it easy for them to avoid traffic on the main road.

Palmer said it’s pretty much the main entrance and just as many parents travel down Parliament as Summit, a road they have already expanded to handle the traffic.

“The road really wasn’t designed to carry that kind of traffic it’s too narrow for the traffic volume that we have,” Palmer said.

So, city leaders tied the widening project in to the ATRIP project on Waterloo Road set to start in two to three weeks, a very close time frame to the first day of school.

“I’m almost positive it will leak over into the beginning of the school year but what we’ll do is we’ll make sure that we don’t start the work until after the morning crowd has dissipated and we’ll work until about the time for folks to come pick their kids up and we’ll stop work at that time. It’ll probably only take a couple of days actually to do to this job.”

However, Palmer added that this job will last decades.

When work begins, WHNT News 19 will inform the community of any main road closures to be aware of.