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Old 10-16-2014, 11:44 PM
442 posts, read 525,325 times
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Zierdt Road northbound lanes construction could begin in February; Huntsville/Madison project goes to bid Nov. 7 | AL.com

MADISON, Alabama - Construction of the northbound lanes for the Zierdt Road project is expected to begin in February, barring a harsh winter.

Scott Leach, senior project manager with Garver who is responsible for the design to transform the existing two-lane roadway into four lanes, said the project is scheduled for ALDOT's Nov. 7 bid opening. The contract approval process will take a couple months to complete before the notice to proceed is issued and the contractor begins work, he said.

"If it's a real wet, cold winter, it may be March before construction actually begins," Leach told the Madison City Council on Monday. "It will be a 200-working day contract - which is typically about 13 months. It may take up to 15 months to complete because the project will endure two periods of winter. The project could be completed sooner with good weather, but if we have weather like last winter, it could take 16-18 months."

The northbound lanes construction project is estimated to cost $6.25 million.

Councilman D.J. Klein said some residents in the Zierdt Road area recently began questioning why road construction hadn't begun.

Leach addressed the council Monday night to assure the city that the project is moving along, and that the new security fence project was accepted last month.

There were some delays in the erecting the new security fence, Leach said, "but now there is nothing stopping us from moving forward with construction of the northbound lanes."

Construction of the northbound lanes won't impede traffic as it's built on open, unoccupied land. The northbound lanes will be separated from the southbound lanes by a 32 foot wide raised median, Leach said.

Construction of southbound lanes won't begin until right-of-way acquisition is complete. Upon completion of the northbound lanes, all two-way traffic will be diverted to the northbound lanes while the southbound lanes and multi-use greenway is under construction, he said.

Madison and Huntsville neighborhoods that rely on Zierdt for leaving the subdivisions will have crossovers directly from their entrances to the northbound lanes, Leach added.

The entire project - which includes reconstructing Zierdt Roads existing lanes to become the future southbound lanes - is expected to be complete in the fall of 2017 at an estimated construction cost of $17.5 million. It is part of the $83 million in ATRIP (Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Plan) money awarded to Madison County.

Madison is sharing the cost of providing the 20 percent matching funds for the project with the City of Huntsville. Madison's portion of the matching funds is 25 percent.

When complete, the improvements along Zierdt Road will include a 12-foot wide multi-use path or greenway for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as major intersection improvements at Martin Road and Madison Boulevard.

Right-of-way acquisition is the critical factor in the timeline of when crews can move forward with construction of the intersections and southbound lanes and greenway, Leach said.

"So, we have developed a plan that provides some flexibility by allowing the project to be constructed in phases, if necessary," he said. "We are starting with the northbound lanes project, which could then be followed by the Martin Road and Madison Boulevard intersections."

It is possible that the intersections could be bid together or be bid as two separate projects based on the progress of right-of-way acquisition. The southbound lanes and greenway will be constructed after right-of-way acquisition is complete.

"I believe this approach will result in an expedited schedule for completing all of the improvements along Zierdt Road," Leach said.

As for progress on the southbound lanes, Leach said there are nearly 40 parcels of land that need to be acquired for right of way and/or easements. Appraisals are underway. If the acquisition process goes smoothly, it is possible to have those parcels acquired in a year or so.

"But, if we encounter difficulties, such as condemnation proceedings, or other, acquisition of those parcels could take 15 months or more," he said.

All parcels must be secured before the southbound lanes can go out for bid.

If right of way for the two new intersections is acquired prior to the property for southbound lanes and greenway, construction of the intersections could proceed before the southbound lanes, Leach said.

Each intersection should take about a year to construct if built separately, he added, and possibly up to 18 months if bid as a single project.

Last edited by FayettevilletoHuntsville; 10-16-2014 at 11:54 PM..
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:32 AM
65 posts, read 75,733 times
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"The northbound lanes will be separated from the southbound lanes by a 32 foot wide raised median, Leach said."

So a mound instead of a typical ditch for the median?
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:48 PM
218 posts, read 263,238 times
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Originally Posted by Renaldo78 View Post
"The northbound lanes will be separated from the southbound lanes by a 32 foot wide raised median, Leach said."

So a mound instead of a typical ditch for the median?
I would guess he's referring to something akin to the medians in Cummings Research Park.
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Old 10-18-2014, 02:27 PM
Location: Madison, AL
1,782 posts, read 2,796,947 times
Reputation: 686
Sounds like a nightmare!

Glad I move before this starts.
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