Major Huntsville road project delayed 10 years - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Major Huntsville road project delayed 10 years

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Construction for a major road project in Huntsville was set to begin next year but has instead been delayed ten years.

Highway 72 from Moores Mill Road to Dug Hill Road won't take place until 2024 according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. It included interchanges at Moores Mill and Shields Road, and lane upgrades from Shields Road to Dug Hill Road.

The projects are intended to ease traffic for commuters, particularly those in west Jackson County and Madison County going in and out of Huntsville.

The Department of Transportation postponed the road projects citing a lack of funding but according to city officials, the I-565/Moores Mill project is fully funded through the federal government's Appalachia Regional Commission and no matching state funds are required.

"We don't like being at odds with the state government.. Don't like being at odds with the department of transportation..with the governor's office. But this was a commitment.. It was a commitment made to our community all the way through March of this year. We had that commitment solidly in hand," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.

The city cites a state report, which says that between 2013 and 2022, ALDOT will spend $442 million on projects in Birmingham. During that same time, Huntsville will receive $300,000.

The report goes on to state that in the following decade, ALDO will allocate $3 billion to Birmingham projects and only $156 million to Huntsville.

Mayor Battle said the project was slated to cost $103 million and will increase another $54.6 million by 2024.

Governor Robert Bentley said the $300,000 figure seemed out of line, and that he plans to talk to Mayor Battle to work on these and future projects. The governor also said the state only has about $150 million for new projects in the entire state each year.

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