HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Cecil Ashburn Drive was scheduled to open to traffic Friday morning, two weeks ahead of schedule.
The road opened at 10 a.m., with one lane of traffic in each direction.
City officials said the reopening should ease traffic congestion on Governors Drive, which has been bearing the brunt of the traffic in and out of the Hampton Cove area.
The Land Trust of North Alabama parking lot on Cecil Ashburn that leads into the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve will remain closed during construction, so crews can use it as a staging area to store equipment and construction materials.
Huntsville Police said drivers should be careful on the road and remember that the area is an active construction zone with a 35-mile per hour speed limit and doubled fines.
Construction crews will vacate the area for about a week while traffic patterns safely normalize on the newly-opened lanes, city officials said.
Construction on phase two of the project will continue into spring 2020. When the $17.9 million project is complete, there will be four lanes of divided highway.