Madison City Council approves Highway 72 expansion costs, County Line Road improvements

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) -  Madison City Council unanimously approved two major Alabama Department of Transportation improvement projects for both Highway 72 and County Line Road Monday.

The move comes after council members raised concerns over the city's projected costs for the widening of Highway 72.

Following a closed-door meeting with ALDOT leaders, city leaders agreed to pay five percent of the project's costs.

"The City of Madison has 28 percent of Highway 72," said Mayor Troy Trulock, "the prices started going up a little bit, and we just said is there a way we can kind of maintain the cost that we originally talked about here."

"It's much more than just a repaving project at this point, so we're looking forward to it and we're very happy with all of the information we found out," said city council president Tommy Overcash.

The council approved the $476,000 agreement for preliminary engineering work on the highway improvements. The full $2.2 million price tag for the construction project will not be up for vote before the council until after ALDOT finalizes design plans.

The project also includes funding from Huntsville City, Madison County and the state.

The improvements will include widening Highway 72 to six lanes from Providence to County Line Road and a new software-run stop light system to improve traffic flow.

"In the city of Madison, there's a lot of frustration with people trying to drive around," said Trulock. "What we did probably incorrectly on Highway 72 was we put a lot of businesses on there and didn't take care of our infrastructure first."

Trulock says the city plans to take the opposite approach with County Line Road by improving the roadways first and then bringing in new businesses.

The council also authorized the next set of upgrades to County Line Road.

The road will be widened to five lanes for a six-mile stretch. It will also be resurfaced to accommodate the increase in traffic expected from the new I-565 exit.

ALDOT chose Reed Contracting to work on the $8.2 million project. It also includes a lengthy walking trail along the road.

County Line Road work is expected to start in February 2015, while construction on Highway 72 is slated to begin in late 2016 and take about two years to complete.

"It could be several years of painful traffic flow through there," said Overcash. "So when it does start, leave early, take your time and just realize it's going to take a little longer, but we'll have really good products when we get through."

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