Madison neighbors concerned over Highland Drive Construction

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MADISON, Ala. – Some Madison residents are concerned about the safety hazards and gaping holes in their yards from a major construction project.

The City of Madison along with Madison Utilities are currently working on major projects along Highland Drive.

Madison Utilities is replacing the water main line, and in coordination with the project, the city will be improving infrastructure by removing speed bumps for ease of emergency EMS and fire vehicles.

“There’s no doubt there is a need for the water line project to replace the damaged infrastructure there, but as far as resurfacing the road the need for roundabouts and new sidewalks and ditches and a lot of that is you know kind of suspect,” says Madison resident Perry Johnson.

Madison Utilities is working to improve the quality of service to customers by replacing the water main and services on Highland Drive including all required connections, hydrants, and other appurtenances.

While Perry Johnson agrees the waterline replacement is needed, he’s concerned about the overall project management.

“The specific details about what goes on in your yard and when has not been fully vetted and no schedule on when holes are going to be dug when they are going to be filled up,” says Johnson.

Johnson says the holes have been left open for an extended amount of time, with just caution tape surrounding them. Several other people living on Highland Drive expressed the same concerns to News 19 off-camera.

“The safety concerns with open holes being open for so long since January, February and not enough adequate protection because there’s not really good lighting in the neighborhood and you’ve got children in strollers coming through in the night around operating equipment and its really a safety hazard,” says Johnson.

Madison Utilities says “Per the contract documents for the project, the general contractor is solely responsible for the means and methods of construction, for safety, and for any damage which may result from their failure or their improper construction, maintenance, or operation.”

As of Thursday, holes along part of Highland Drive were being covered or fenced off with metal wiring.

“If a child or an animal were to fall in there its not good,” says Johnson.

Madison Utilities says the project will be completed in overlapping phases. The first phase is in final testing and holes in that section should be filled soon.

Madison Utilities says their portion of the work was scheduled to end April 28 but is now extended to June 7. Madison Utilities urges all customers to express their concerns about safety measures directly to the contractor.

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