Construction to begin on Forrest Street in Athens

ATHENS, Ala. - A busy street in Athens is getting some much-needed renovations, but with that, of course, comes road closures and traffic.

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks says the expansion of Forrest Street was inevitable.

"Why not do it now? Bite the bullet now where you get a 70 percent match on your money and get it done," Mayor Marks said.

The project is part of the Alabama Transportation and Rehabilitation Improvement Program or ATRIP.

"It's a major project that will probably be a year-long project or longer," Marks explained.

Workers will remove the two bridges on Forrest Street, making them wider and connecting them with walking paths. Off of the bridges, the paths will also have access to the creek and its walking trail.

"A great project, but it's going to be very difficult for our citizens for a while," said Marks.

Crews have almost finished moving utilities.

"People will see things being moved out there now -- temporary signs being put up," he said.

Marks said the street won't close until after a city council meeting next week, where they will decide start and tentative end dates for the project.

"This is going to happen pretty fast, and we want to make sure people understand," Marks said.

Marks added that the city will install a temporary traffic light at Lindsay Lane and Highway 251. He said they'll keep drivers updated every few weeks and will be sure to let them know the best alternate routes. He expects the project to begin in the next month and says after this project they plan to begin work on the roundabout at Highway 251 and Lindsay Lane.

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