Crews to shut down Old Madison Pike for project - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Crews to shut down Old Madison Pike for project

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The project will shut down Old Madison Pike from Jan Davis Drive to Slaughter Road. The project will shut down Old Madison Pike from Jan Davis Drive to Slaughter Road.
Major Battle said the project is necessary for the long run. Major Battle said the project is necessary for the long run.
The road project is poised to benefit citizens of both Huntsville and Madison. The road project is poised to benefit citizens of both Huntsville and Madison.
Madison Academy President Dr. Robert Burton said the project is "a dream come true" for the school. Madison Academy President Dr. Robert Burton said the project is "a dream come true" for the school.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A major Huntsville road project that starts Monday morning will close a portion of Old Madison Pike for more than a year.

The project will shut down the road from Jan Davis Drive to Slaughter Road. The project includes a new four-lane roadway, bridges, sidewalks, bicycle lanes and a new greenway parking area.

Work has already begun on the project, starting back in November. Up until this point, however, the road has stayed open. This will change Monday morning.

This project has been in the works for 17 years. About 30,000 cars travel the roadway every day, many using it to get into Research Park every morning. It's considered dangerous due to sharp curves and narrow bridges.

When it comes to paying for the project, both state and federal funds are being used, and the city of Huntsville is chipping in too.

On Saturday, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle held a press conference to talk about the project. He said even though construction will add to the headache, the project is necessary for the long run. "It's crucial for infrastructure," Mayor Battle said. "It's positive for our neighbors in Madison because our citizens can get there and their citizens can get here."

When asked about why this project took so long to get started, Mayor Battle said it was all about getting it right. "The main reason it took 17 years: it went through two redesigns," Mayor Battle explained. "The first design came through was a culvert-type system. Unfortunately, there was a culvert system in south Alabama that with some heavy rain got wiped out, so they went to a redesign. The state said we're going to do bridges on piers. So it had to be totally redesigned on the pier system."

There are several neighborhoods in the area, a few businesses, and even some schools, such as Madison Academy. This construction will close the entrance to the school, but the president of Madison Academy said the reward, at the end, will be worth the hassle.

"We moved onto this property 17 years ago," said Madison Academy President Dr. Robert Burton. "And 17 years ago, we started the campaign of getting Old Madison Pike four lanes. And we've talked with Tom Butler, we've talked with two governors, we talked with Tommy Battle, the current mayor. So this is a project, a dream come true for Madison Academy."

Prepare to give yourself extra time for detours for a while, because this project is expected to last another 15 months, until June 2015. The city said the best detour for those going to Research Park will be to take Slaughter Road directly into the area.

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