Major roadway improvements for Zierdt Road in west Huntsville are scheduled to begin this fall, and that's welcomed news to the more than 16,500 motorists traveling on it each day. The City of Huntsville and the City of Madison are joining forces to begin transforming the heavily traveled two lane road into a four lane multi-use boulevard that includes pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular traffic.
"We are finally bringing Zierdt Road into the norm of our major thoroughfares," said Mayor Tommy Battle. "Zierdt is a major corridor for traffic in and out of Redstone Arsenal, and it is a critical part of the infrastructure our community needs to support BRAC."
The $12.1 million project will begin at Madison Boulevard and end at Martin Road. Because Zierdt Road lies within both the City of Madison and the City of Huntsville, the municipalities have worked together to find funding for the project.
"Improving Zierdt Road has been a top priority for both Madison and Huntsville for years," said Madison Mayor Paul Finley. "We are thrilled dirt will soon start moving and the improvements needed to make our citizens commute easier are one step closer to reality."
Typical staging on this project would have pushed the construction phase into 2015, but Shane Davis, Director of Urban Development, says Huntsville and Madison cannot afford to wait three years. Instead, Davis has worked closely with the State Highway Department to structure a multi-phased approach to accomplish the road improvements in a shorter time frame.
"We aren't taking the ordinary route to get this done," said Davis. "By staggering the phases, we will be finished by 2015, and we will be ready for the next round of BRAC movements."
Improvements to Zierdt are scheduled to occur as follows:
Late 2012: Begin east side right-of-way clearing and Redstone Arsenal fence relocation
Early 2013: Begin utility relocation
Late 2013: Begin construction on northbound lanes, east side of Zierdt, upon
completion of utility relocation
Late 2014: Begin construction on southbound lanes, west side of Zierdt, upon completion of northbound lanes and right-of-way acquisition
2015: Project completion
Both Mayors say they appreciate motorists' patience throughout the construction process and that their respective departments are working together to complete this work as soon as possible.
"We have worked hard to ensure that the existing two way traffic will remain viable throughout the construction process," said Mayor Battle. "Most motorists won't miss a beat."