MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — A long-awaited construction project is making visible progress along I-565 in Madison.
The City of Madison is funding the construction of “flyover” ramps to connect the westbound lanes of I-565 to the Town Madison shopping area. The City Council approved the funding of the project in November of last year.
The new flyovers will complete the interchange, which at the moment only accommodates eastbound travel in and out of that area.
Now, there will be a ramp connecting westbound travel into Town Madison, and an off-ramp directing travel out of Town Madison and onto I-565.
This week, the contractor has been blasting material at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., causing minor halts in traffic on I-565.
Tuesday, News 19 was nearby during the afternoon blast. Material shot into the air and created a brief cloud of dust and debris.
Wednesday is the last scheduled day of blasting this week.
News 19 spoke with Madison resident Robin Walker, who said she is thrilled to see construction start.
“It’s going to be a blessing for everyone that’s traveling back and forth, getting to and from. Especially when we have a [Trash Pandas] game, that’s going to help people get to their destination quicker,” Walker said.
She told News 19 that she’s long thought there should be a westbound interchange at Town Madison.
“I drive down 565 all the time. I said, ‘why don’t they make a bridge, that crosses over,'” Walker said.
She said even with possible delays and headaches that could come with construction, it will be worth it in the end.
“It’s going to be a great thing, and the time that we have to wait for construction is going to be well worth it” she added.
Walker said in addition to easing travel in and out of Town Madison, it will be a huge benefit for people who live off Zierdt Road and other nearby neighborhoods who need to take I-565 west towards Decatur or the airport.
The addition of westbound ramps will also change the flow of traffic in and out of Toyota Field.
Garrett Fahrmann, the General Manager of the Trash Pandas said it will make travel much easier for folks coming westbound on gameday.
“It’ll be easier access, they won’t have to come down Madison Boulevard and go down Zierdt, and Trash Panda Way and Town Madison Boulevard,” Fahrmann told News 19. Instead, people coming from Huntsville and eastern parts of Madison County will be able to exit I-565 right at the field, hitting fewer stoplights.
It will also make exiting the stadium after games and events easier for people who need to take I-565 west. Right now, the easiest way to get westbound on I-565 from Town Madison is to take Madison Boulevard several miles, or hop on I-565 east and turn around.
“We’ll be able to get them [fans] in easier, and then at the end of the game get them out easier as well,” Fahrmann said.
The City of Madison has not given an exact timeline for the construction project. However, it could be done as early as the spring of 2024.
News 19 has reached out to the City of Madison for a copy of the renderings for the interchange, and have not been provided with a response at this time.