HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A piece of road and federal land could become one of the busiest construction zones in Huntsville, but city engineers say it will all be worthwhile.
Huntsville’s director of engineering Kathy Martin says the Arsenal East Corridor, which will connect Interstate 565 to Redstone Arsenal’s Gate 10, was originally drawn up about two decades ago, but was only now unanimously approved by the city council.
“We are kind of starting over from scratch (from the original plan),” Martin said.
The corridor will be four lanes wide, stretching 2.5 miles, according to Martin, thus cutting down on traffic — especially with the possible relocation of the U.S. Space Command.
“With changes at Redstone Arsenal and BRAC and the new developments that’s going on out there, anything that connects the interstate to the south side of Huntsville takes a lot of coordination with Redstone Arsenal,” Martin said.
Soon engineers will survey to find out how much of Patton Road and nearby land will be redirected, all without disrupting traffic.
“We’ve known it’s been needed,” Martin said. “Otherwise you know, it would not have been programmed years ago. Why now? Huntsville is growing, and we actually started looking at this project again in 2017. So that’s where we are today, is getting all the federal regulatory agencies on board to move forward with this project.”
Martin expects that when the surveys and public input to the city are all done, the approved route will begin construction sometime in 2024.
The city of Huntsville says it will only have to pay for ten percent of the project, with 90 percent coming from federal funds, totaling roughly $35 million when complete.