MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Drivers are used to seeing construction on Winchester Road in Huntsville and Madison, and this week more potential delays are coming.
County officials say beginning on Wednesday night, July 31, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., crews will be installing cross drains on Winchester Road between Naugher Road and Riverton Road. This is part of the Winchester Road Widening Project, they said, and the work will also be on Thursday and Sunday night. They urge you to expect temporary traffic delays.
"Just please, people, be patient, be really careful, don't drive too fast through construction zones. It is dangerous with workers out on the road," said Roger Jones, County Commissioner for District 1.
He explained the road work is necessary to get to a better place so the road can better handle the traffic it's seeing on a daily basis.
"It's aggravating a lot of times, to commute through this area. It's going to be so nice when it's finished," he said.
"We'll have a five-lane road with a turn lane, two lanes going either direction with a turn lane in the center," Jones explained, although he admitted there have been delays. "Utilities took quite a while to get moved, but after the construction has started you can see the big pipe is going in for the storm drains."
The county and city of Huntsville are handling the road work through a contractor, and state ATRIP funds are paying for it. It's divided into multiple phases.
The sight of construction crews out front at Tailgaters Sports Bar and Grill has not been the best for business, as far as the lunch crowd is concerned, said Chaz Helton, co-owner at the restaurant.
"We do appreciate the groups of guys they have out there to come in and see us, but nobody else wants to come see us as a result of what's going on out here," he explained. "People are afraid on their lunch breaks, they are going to lose the entire hour coming out to see us."
Helton said the feeling is, they can't wait until the construction is over.
"It's been going on for quite some time now," he said. "There's not a magic button where you can say oh, wow, boom, all the roads pop up."
He thanked the customers who come anyway to enjoy a good meal, but says it's not just him feeling the heat.
"We're not the only people it impacts. There are businesses right next door, across the street, and it really takes a toll on everything around here," he stated. "I think it's going to be a great thing, but only time will tell. And this area is growing as it is, and the roads could have to grow even more in the future. Who knows."