HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Right now, several million dollars worth of road construction is happening around Huntsville. And neighbors and business owners have had one question for the city; how much longer? Neighbors are expecting an answer from the city on Thursday morning.
“We were hoping this was going to be a really good year for us,” Inspired Gifts owner Jean Bryan said. “And the way it’s turning out, we’ve actually had a huge decrease in sales since May.”
That’s the same time the city shut down Church Street for repaving and construction of a bridge.
“I’m looking forward to this being a larger opening to the downtown area, but I don’t know how much we can hurry it along,” Bryan said.
Church Street still needs paving. But even if drivers don’t know it, the corridor is open for business. Bryan says she’s eager to see the job finished.
“I’m not sure how much progress they can make, because I’ve heard overall this is a two-year project,” Bryan said.
Like Bryan, businesses along Cecil Ashburn Drive have spent months pleading with customers to pay them a visit since the mountain road was closed in January.
“Progress can’t come soon enough,” Hampton Cove resident Jason Stewart said. “They say October.”
That’s when Stewart and many commuters are expecting two lanes to reopen, giving them another route to work aside from Governors Drive.
“It’s about a 45 minute to an hour commute, where it used to be 25 minutes going over Cecil,” Stewart said.
Huntsville city engineers are also expected to give an update on expanding US-72 west of Providence Main. Even though ALDOT leaders said that work may not start for another two years.
“I hope they start expanding more lanes,” Huntsville resident Brandon Golley said. “Because if there’s more and more businesses appearing on this stretch, it’s just going to get more and more traffic.”
ALDOT’s previous estimate for the three-mile expansion was around $40 million. Thursday’s roadwork update from the city will happen at 10:00 a.m. at the public services building on Fountain Circle.