Zierdt Road widening resumes as nearby construction project ramps up

MADISON, Ala. - For over a year, Zierdt Road has been slow going for people trying to get from home to work and traffic on the road is only going up. Developers are promising the widening project will soon be finished.

Eugene Jung is taking no chances with his new giant metal rooster.

"It was custom built in Athens, Georgia," Jung says he bought the sculpture after seeing a similar one in Athens, Alabama, which was at one point stolen. While work continues inside the new Champy's Chicken, the unnamed mascot outside easily turns heads.

"We are looking at opening the second week of June," Jung said.

Drivers have plenty of time to scan the horizon. Right now, the trip on Madison Boulevard and Zierdt Road can be bumper to bumper.

"I believe right now, the plan right now is to shift traffic to the new section starting this weekend," Breland Companies president Joey Ceci said.

Project leaders nearby are eager to see the paving finished and the orange cones gone.

"They'll start leasing these apartments this summer," Ceci said.

"We're two weeks away from the crane being gone. Which means all of the steel will be on the ballpark site," Ballcorps CEO Ralph Nelson said.

Nelson says the crews are ahead of schedule, with 11 months until opening day at the new ballpark.

"So, all of the kind of higher priced seats are sold out for the first three years," Nelson said.

This week, Breland Companies announced they're starting work right away on a new food hall outside the center field fence, a short walk from the new apartments.

"People want different food, different experiences, and this will become that new gathering spot," Ceci said.

With a busy summer of construction ahead, Ceci says he expects the Zierdt Road project will be finished this fall.

Jung says they plan to hire about 80 people to work at the restaurant over the next few weeks. If you're interested in applying, you can reach Eugene at eugene@champyschicken.com.

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