MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - A busy two-lane road in Madison County could soon be widened. On Wednesday, the Madison County Commission approved the application of a BUILD grant in order to get money from the state to pay for the project.
Phil Vandiver, District 4 Madison County Commissioner, tells WAFF 48 the commission will be applying for $10 million. The commission will come up with the remaining $2 million to widen the road.
If the funding comes through, Blake Bottom Road will expand from two lanes to five lanes and include bike lanes and a sidewalk.
Vandiver says that is a must when using federal money to widen a road. “That means you have to take a wider span, a more costly span, get into people’s yards a little bit more than what they want,” said Vandiver.
Alzfonzo Jones has lived on Blake Bottom road for almost 24 years. He tells WAFF 48 he see’s a lot of drivers driving 80 to 90 miles per hour down the busy road. “I’ve seen two young girls get killed down there about 10 years ago. And I saw a wreck about a week ago,” said Jones.
Vandiver says the issue with expanding the road by 5 lanes is the fact that the county would have to take land from homeowners. “This is a challenge that you would encroach on some houses, but you would also make the community better,” said Vandiver.
Jones agree’s the road needs to be widened, he’s just not sure it needs to be five lanes. “I’m thinking if they try to turn this into 5 lanes and a bike lane, then it’s going to put that way over there where the fruit tree’s are. That’s going to take up about half my yard. That’s not good."
Nothing is set and stone. Vandiver says if the commission doesn’t get the grant from the state, the project will go back on the shelf until they can find out how to fund it.