Expansion of University Drive, US-72 expected to start next fiscal year

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - When your city is dubbed the best place to live in the country. You have certain expectations like nice roads to go along with that title.

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is working to meet driver demand.

“With Huntsville now the number one city and Madison at 57,000, the traffic has just built up over the years, there’s a lot of congestion,” said Alabama State Senator Tom Butler.

To combat the congestion ALDOT wants to widen University Drive and Highway 72, but that will come at a cost.

“There is a substantial cost to this project, $90 million is no small chunk of change,” said ALDOT spokesperson Seth Burkett.

Burkett says the project will be completed in three to four phases.

“The first phase is the replacement of the bridges at Indian Creek near Providence main and also an expansion of that roadway starting at Providence where that cemetery is,” said Burkett.

Burkett says phase one will cost around $15 million.

“We are anticipating moving into construction in the next fiscal year, of course, there are a lot of factors in there,” said Burkett.

Leaders credit gas tax revenue as the catalyst for this project.

“Rebuild Alabama is really helping to start moving some of these projects forward and getting some of these things done. In some cases it’s needed to be done for years or decades,” said Burkett.

This project has been in the works for years and citizen, Paul Smith is looking forward to the expansion, but has recommendations for ALDOT.

“Putting a traffic light at Paramount Drive is extremely important for my business and other businesses so people can turn east or west, especially with the expansion of six lanes,” said Smith.

ALDOT is looking for public involvement. Comments on the proposed project need to be submitted by June 16, 2022. You can do that here or email us72-addlanes@dot.state.al.us.

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