MADISON, Ala. - Mayor Paul Finley said Madison will be under construction in the new year. Not only are major developments coming to town, but crews will begin major road projects in 2019.
"People will start seeing traffic cones and flashing lights in 2019," Finley told WHNT News 19.
The city will start work on multiple capital projects, including a Hughes Road expansion, Sullivan Street expansion, and multi-use path down Wall Triana Highway.
Two different road projects will widen to five lanes.
"The Hughes project and the Sullivan project are five-lane projects that simply keep up with the level of traffic coming through Madison right now," Finley explained. "Our transportation study showed us these were some major choke points. We are going to bite it off a step at a time."
Hughes Road is a heavy-traffic area during certain times of the day, and city leaders are aware of the congestion. In 2019, Hughes Road between Plaza Boulevard and Eastview Drive will get a major upgrade.
"It's going to make a big difference," Finley commented.
Sullivan Street will also widen to five lanes, from the railroad tracks down to Madison Boulevard.
"It will get you to the Sealy Project which eventually will tie two roads together," Finley stated, "and get you over to the stadium. So there's going to be a lot more accessibility to Historic Downtown Madison. I think anyone who drives that route knows that additional lanes are needed."
These aren't the only widening projects scheduled for the new year.
"Three-laning over on Brownsferry between County Line and Burgreen," Finley listed. "Balch Road will get started this year. We understand that as Madison grows, traffic and road widenings need to occur. We are excited to have all those projects that will start, and many of which will finish, in 2019."
A separate, but highly-anticipated multi-use path will soon be constructed on the side of Wall Triana Highway.
Mayor Finley said the sidewalk would go from Brownsferry Road all the way up to Gillespie Road.
"It's an area right now It's not necessarily safe to walk on that road," Finley said, "and we're excited that we are going to have a multi-use path all the way down that. It improves accessibility for a lot of folks who need it right now to get to a lot of the stores that are around there.
Gary Jones has come to the Madison City Council for support for a walkway in that area for a long time.
"I'm relieved to see this happening, and we are going to be very pleased," he added.
Jones said he hopes the plan stays green-lit.
"I'm glad to see Madison is finally getting this project started, "Jones commented. "It's a much-needed thing. There are apartments here, but no sidewalks. There's a school, it's very dangerous. There are pedestrians who ride bikes and walk along here, and we need to have this resolved."
Jones said he is hopeful the safety issues will be cleared up once the walkway is ready to go. He also believes more accessibility here can help with economic development in that area of Madison.
"I'll be able to walk up and down the street down to the Kroger and pick up some groceries," he said, "and not having to worry about my safety or my neighbors' safety."
Mayor Finley had this request for citizens: "We're just as excited as you guys are to have these projects funded. It does take a while, so we ask you to be patient as we progress. Once done, I think Madison residents are going to see their choke points minimized and their traffic time dramatically minimized."