State hopes to finish overpass project by late fall

By Elizabeth Gentle - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A multi-million dollar project to relieve traffic congestion in south Huntsville could be finished by year's end.  Drivers say they are anxious for opening day.

Traffic is tight on South Parkway in rush hour.

It really jams up where construction is happening on the new south parkways overpass.

Drivers say its worth the wait to see it finished.

The State Department of Transportation began construction on an overpass last year from south of Weatherly Road to North of Whitesburg Drive.

Driver Don Holt says South Parkway has needed this for several years.  He's anxious to see the overpass open.

'Before it would take about 15 minutes to get to Weatherly. Now it will probably take 3 or 4 minutes with non-stop traffic,' says Holt.

DOT crews say construction is fairly close to schedule.

They're pouring concrete to bridge the overpass driving deck and finishing up work on retaining walls.

Underneath the overpass, barricades block traffic from paving crews laying down turn lanes and access roads.

Drivers hope the new overpass will relieve travel congestion.

'Its really bad down this way. Horrific traffic," said driver Thad Clark.

"For us local people it's going to be a big help to clear traffic on the access roads.  It really backs up badly in rush hour traffic,' said driver John Cochran.

When its open, the overpass will allow a better flow of traffic.

DOT workers say it was necessary to build the overpass to help ease overcrowding on the parkway.

The final tab will total a little over 16 million dollars.

A price drivers say is worth every penny.

'You've got to have that overpass. Its not a useless overpass I don't think at all,' said Clark.

DOT says the overpass could be completed sometime this fall.

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