MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Madison County has been awarded its largest-ever road improvement grants. The U.S. Department of Transportation is giving the county more than $9-million to expand Blake Bottom Road.
Madison County has invested $325-million in road projects to accommodate rapid growth. This newly funded project on Blake Bottom Road will run from Jeff Road to Research Park.
"Just yesterday another wreck with entrapment on that road. It has a history of fatalities, a lot of wrecks," said Madison County Commissioner Chairman Dale Strong.
He says the solution has been in the planning stages for roughly 2 years and with the newly completed Research Park interchange, the 11,000 daily travelers will see more work in the area for years to come.
"It will take probably about 18 months to 2 years to design this and then probably another 18-24 months to construct it," said Chairman Strong.
The two-lane corridor is a major connection to Redstone Arsenal and Research Park. The goal is to expand to five lanes in certain areas.
"Our hope is to push it as fast as we can. But there will be some line relocation. There will be some acquisition of property," said Chairman Strong.
The county says it understands the headaches drivers face with construction, but Strong points to an inescapable problem.
"Without that construction, that means our transportation system would be falling even further behind," explained Chairman Strong.
The county says it's trying to bring federal tax dollars back to the community and steps like the recent gas tax are truly helping fund these projects.
Chairman Strong says Madison County is actively applying for more federal road grants and his office has been working extensively with U.S. Senator Richard Shelby.