Reduced speed limit and construction continues on Memorial Parkway

HUNTSVILLE, Ala -- South Parkway in Huntsville is open after years of work. Many drivers are enjoying less traffic.

After 2 and a half years all four lanes were opened for drivers Tuesday. But just because the lanes are open, doesn't mean construction is over.

One of the most important things drivers need to know is that the speed limit along the parkway from north of Martin Road, all the way south of Lily Flagg Road, is still reduced to 40 miles per hour.

In just the first 24 hours, the parkway was open Huntsville Police ticketed more than 10 people. Many of them were driving 60 to 70 miles-per-hour in the construction zone. More than 70,000 cars drive on the parkway every day.

"Interstate level traffic you know in a major city. Well in a major Alabama city anyway," ALDOT Press Officer Seth Burkett said.

Even though people driving those cars may be ready to speed through the parkway, drivers need to be aware of these orange barrels. Small projects are still being completed.

"Most of the work is minor stuff," Burkett said.

The majority of construction will center around asphalt work.

"While the majority of the paving has been done there still remains the final wearing surface on the surface roads," Burkett said.

Which will result in some closures.

"You may encounter a lane closure while you're traveling through the project area. There's still work to be done and so there may be some lanes shut down, or some traffic rerouted around a certain area, and on or off ramp may be closed for some period of time," he said.

But he doesn't believe these projects will impede traffic.

"We have 4 lanes in each direction, so if we close a lane down it's not going to have the same impact that it did when there were just two lanes in each direction," he said.

The speed limit is reduced in this area until construction is complete. How long will speed be reduced in this area? Burkett says construction along the parkway should be complete sometime late this the summer or early this fall.