Madison County Commissioner: $300M in road projects needed to alleviate area traffic issues

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 7:33 AM CDT
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MADISON Co., Ala. (WAFF) - Many people across Madison County are noticing more traffic congestion in the area, especially in the west and north parts of the county.

CDG, a civil engineering consultant group recommended Madison County leaders widen several roads to alleviate traffic during rush hour. In total, CDG recommended widening about 30 miles of roadways in the county.

“To really move traffic better you have to look at a five-lane road: four lanes and a turn lane in the middle,” Madison County Commissioner Phil Vandiver said. “That’s what it takes to move more traffic. Once you get to the place where we are in a lot of Madison County, now it’s just a volume of traffic that you’re trying to get through the intersections and up and down the highways.”

Vandiver said he would like to implement the recommendations but the county can’t afford it right now. He estimates the cost to be more than triple the county’s annual budget. Vandiver said the county operates within an $80 million dollar budget with about half of the budget going to the sheriff’s office, leaving about $40 million for essential services.

Vandiver says it costs about $10 million to widen a single mile. Now, he has to figure out how to grow the budget to include an estimated $300 million in road projects.

They are focusing on West Huntsville, near the Walmart on Wall Triana, the roads connecting the Hazel Green and Meridianville areas to Huntsville and Winchester Road.

Vandiver says alleviating congestion is a priority but they can’t afford it with the county’s current budget.

“We want to do the things we want to do but we have to stay within the money that’s funded to us through Madison County,” Vandiver said. “We’re always looking for options to work with the State of Alabama, we’re looking for options in the federal government, anything we can do to find money, grant money.”

Vandiver says the county is wrapping up a separate road widening project in the Harvest area. They’re adding turning lanes at Highway 53 and Harvest Road and Old Highway Bend Road with the help of Alabama Department of Transportation funding.

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