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GURLEY, Ala. (WHNT) – Madison County Commissioner Craig Hill tells News 19 that a steep slope of Keel Mountain Road has long been a priority for improvements and widening.

Over the summer, the needed work will be done without taking a big bite out of county tax dollars.

“It’s a small section of the road, but it was a very serious problem (eight years ago) that caused us to close the road the next day when geotechnical engineers found that problem,” Hill said.

After a half-million dollars went to the first phase, this summer’s road work cost of $815,000 will be 80% funded by state and federal grants.

“We bought the property and we’re going to be able to go in there and secure that and improve the drainage with the roadway,” Hill explained. “With this project, the road will continue to be open. It’ll be serviceable, but we’re going to do some work that needs to be done so that in the future we’re not going to pass the problem to someone else or that road becomes a problem.”

Throughout construction, the road will often be reduced to one lane to stay accessible to local traffic and first responder vehicles, Hill added.

The county hasn’t laid out a specific timeline but did emphasize that the road work should be completed before the start of the school year in August.