HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – If you drive to or from south Huntsville every day, you’ve likely noticed the signs and cones along Memorial Parkway hinting construction work is about to begin. The time has arrived, so get ready for the long haul. Deep breaths, everyone.
The Alabama Department of Transportation says construction has begun on a multi-year, $53.9 million project to complete the South Memorial Parkway (Alabama 53/U.S. 231) expressway and frontage roads between Golf Road and Whitesburg Drive in Huntsville.
How long will the project take, exactly? Four years, my friends. Four years. The work will be done in two phases:
Phase 1: This includes Memorial Parkway service roads, new bridges and an elevated intersection on Martin Road. That is scheduled for completion by December 1, 2017.
Phase 2: The Memorial Parkway mainline and overpasses at Byrd Spring Road and Logan Drive/Lily Flagg Road are scheduled to be complete by June 1, 2019.
For both phases, joint venture contractors Reed Contracting and Miller & Miller may receive up to $2.5 million incentives if they finish sooner. They also face up to $2.5 million in disincentives if the project doesn’t make the deadline.
ALDOT advises motorists to expect delays caused by temporary closures of the inside lanes of South Memorial Parkway in varying locations throughout the 1.5-mile construction zone. Whenever possible, two lanes will remain open in each direction.
Closures will generally begin after 9 a.m. for northbound lanes and end before 3 p.m. for southbound lanes in an effort to reduce impacts on traffic during peak hours.
Relocations of various utilities by utilities providers are also ongoing in the area.
Following the Christmas holiday, motorists should expect further traffic control measures, including reduced lanes on Martin Road west of Memorial Parkway and a shift of southbound Memorial Parkway traffic to the northbound side of the parkway, which is currently being widened, in the area of Members Drive.
The project is part of ALDOT and the City of Huntsville’s five-year, $250-million joint-funding agreement.