MADISON, Ala - Every day we get closer to having a minor league team in Madison, but the gateway to the stadium is through an already congested I-565.
Governor Kay Ivey, who is currently running for re-election, says the project to widen I-565 is a priority but WHNT did some digging.
It turns out records from the Department of Transportation show current planning for the interstate has construction dates set for many years from now -- in 2043, 2046 and 2050.
I-565 is designed to accommodate 100,000 vehicles driving on it every day. A packed house on game night means at least an additional 7,500 people on the roadways, not to mention future traffic down I-565 from the new 4,000-worker Toyota-Mazda auto manufacturing plant.
But project leaders building the stadium aren't worried about traffic as fans head to games.
The backdrop of Ballcorps' new office sits right off the interstate. But do representatives from the company think I-565 traffic will be an issue getting to the stadium?
"No," Managing partner Ralph Nelson said.
Developer Louis Breland, owns the land Town Madison is built on.
Breland spokesman, Joey Ceci, says I-565 is on their radar. "The healthier 565 is the better all of us are here in North Alabama."
If the road isn't widened anytime soon, what will traffic be like as fans head to games?
"It's after rush hour at 7 o'clock at night. And again on a road that 565 is designed to accommodate 100,000 cars, another 2,000 cars on a game night really isn't going to pose a traffic issue for anyone," Ceci said.
"It's not like, you know, you're in a traffic jam trying to get to Yankee stadium where they're going to put 60,000 people in the ballpark," Nelson said.
There are 5 points of access to the ballpark, which includes a new I-565 interchange, Zeirdt road. "You've got a 5 lane connector road at Intergraph Way that goes underneath 565 and connects back to Madison Boulevard and kind of into the heart of Madison then you've got two points of entry on Wall Triana Road," Ceci said.
Access is something Nelson says is a major bragging point for the stadium.
Even if plans to widen I-565 are in the slow lane, he thinks getting to the stadium will be a home run for baseball fans. But we won't know if that will actually be the case until the first pitch is thrown in 2020.
Ceci says construction on that I-565 ramp is scheduled to be completed around the same time that stadium opens.