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Alabadrock

Decatur Highways and Roadwork

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I'm starting a new topic to narrow down the subjects of tansit discussion in the "Huntsville-Decatur" foum. It just gets kinda hard to pick out the few topics of discussion about Decatur roadwork in the Huntsville thread.

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Well, to start off on what I'm sure will be post after post after riveting post, the Beltline is progressing nicely. They've gotten all the way from the AL 24 interchange to the intersection with Old Moulton Road.

The Beltline/Spring Avenue intersection is nearly finished, but, I'm still confused on what they lack.

And they're starting work on the interections for the Crossings. Hehe

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Here's some pictures of the Beltline widening project.

DecPic010.jpg

DecPic011.jpg

DecPic019.jpg

And here's one of the extension of the biking trails.

DecPic019.jpg

Here're a few of the history trail at Delano Park that's under construction:

DecPic024.jpg

DecPic028.jpg

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I posted the below in the Marketsquare thread, but, it seemed like a good discussion to carry over into this thread and keep discussing, so, here it is. I'm responding to a reply about someone hoping that the Huntsville-Decatur area won't develop like Birmingham has.

I can't say that will happen for Huntsville. That is develop properly. But, I'm sure Decatur will. Decatur may be growing slower than most other metros in the state, but, I'd rather grow slow like we are, and be able to fix our problems correctly as they come. With the way Huntsville is growing, they're being more reactive or belated in their construction of roads. Decatur is currently being proactive, and I hope it continues.

Spring Avenue and Beltline intersection was recently widened, and it wasn't TOO terribly bad before. So, that was proactive.

The Beltline itself, the whole construction will take about 3.5 years. But, it's already not TOO terribly bad during rush our, so, there's some more proactive-ness.

They're also adding sidewalks to Sandlin Rd., more infill is taking place, and the downtown area is seeing some revitalization.

Anyways, I think the main reason that Decatur won't develop into another Birmingham, or grow the Huntsville is, is because Decatur doesn't have room to sprawl. The city itself is surrounded by water on almost 3 sides. Which greatly restricts its ability to acquire more land through annexation.

It just wish that the city could work through zoning issues, then annex Moulton Heights. Which is currently surrounded by Decatur on all sides except a narrow isthmus of unannexed property that dead-ends in Trinity.

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The Council approved a measure to limit turns on Wimberly Dr. SW

A measure designed to ease traffic congestion on a major retail thoroughfare in Decatur received approval Monday, but not without objections from a city councilman and a business owner.

The council approved 4-1 a resolution that designates Wimberly Drive Southwest as a right-turn-in, right-turn-out street where it intersects Spring Avenue.

Although Councilman Ronny Russell, who represents the district, said the changes have been discussed in the Planning Department for more than a year, Councilman Ray Metzger asked to have the measure tabled to research it further.

"My next-door neighbor owns a business on that road," Metzger said. "There should be right and left turns allowed there, but not straight through traffic. This will cut the traffic down 75 percent in that district."

Steve Garner, who owns an insurance firm on Wimberly Drive, said he is concerned with how the change would affect access to his business. He said he didn't know about the council's plans to change the street until he read about it in The Daily.

Garner wasn't allowed to discuss his opposition Monday. The council allows public discussion on agenda items only during work sessions, which are held one week before each business meeting.

"I'm disappointed I wasn't able to speak at today's meeting," Garner said. "And I understand they have their rules, but I'm more upset that I didn't know about it beforehand."

Garner said he spoke with business owners, including managers of a restaurant and a home improvement store. He said only one of eight businesses that he spoke with was aware of the change.

Decatur Police Chief Ken Collier said the Sims Street connector with Fairgrounds Road would likely open this week, giving drivers an alternate route to the businesses on Wimberly Drive.

Council President Billy Jackson said temporary signs would help inform drivers of the Sims Street connector.

"The overall impact will be to help with traffic flow and increase safety," Jackson said. "That's what we have to look at. I apologize for any inconvenience, but police, engineering and planning all endorsed it. We're creating an overall better traffic flow."

Garner, who spoke to some of the councilmen after the meeting, said clients who reach his business by traveling north on Spring Avenue won't know they will need to turn left on Sims Street and then turn right on Wimberly Drive in order to reach his business.

The council didn't discuss what day the changes would be implemented. Councilman David Bolding suggested placing signs warning of the change like the city currently does when it adds stop signs to intersections.

Councilman Gary Hammon said the city would keep the wiring for traffic lights at Wimberly Drive and Spring Avenue, so the change could be easily reversed if it doesn't improve or hinders the traffic-flow situation.

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http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/n...7/project.shtml

The MPO ha approved a weather monitoring system for the I-65 bridge in Decatur. The warning lights will signal different weather conditions, since at the peak of the bridge, weather can get quite bad while it's already bad on the ground.

For example, red lights will flash when the bridge has an icy surface.

Future hopes for this system include upgrading it to tell more info about weather on the bridge and to give alternate routes.

The bridge is also scheduled for renovation in 2010 which will include cleaning, painting, and possibly even raising the height of the gaurdrails.

More updates to come on scheduled improvements around town!

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So, I thought that talk about the Decatur Area building the Veterans Parkway was completely dead. But, apparently not. In an article in the daily about warning lights for the I-65 bridge over the Tennessee River, they listed projects that are currently in the MPO's radar. Two pieces of the parkway were listed.

The first was for the addition of the parkway from Danville Rd. to US 31 between Decatur and Hartselle. Funding would be allotted in $443,000 for prelim. engineering of the route, and $1.6 Million for the aquiring of right of way.

The second was for the addition of the parkway from US 31 to I-65. This would of course include the interchange required for the parkway with the interstate. Of course, all of the parkway would be built as controlled access. Funding would be allotted in $1.09 Million for prelim. engineering.

I don't know what the verdict is on this. If they've chosen to go through with it, or if they've said, "Maybe, we'll see."

I dunno, I'll post more as I get it, which probably won't happen for a while.

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Well it seems Decatur is next up to get the shaft from ALDOT. The delay and change plan in full effect

The model for this tactic are the overpasses on Memorial Parkway in Huntsville that have not even been started

though the service roads have been complete for several years now.

from WHNT TV

http://www.whnt.com/Global/story.asp?S=7066284

NewsChannel 19's Amber Stuart Reporting:

The time table on the Beltline Road construction in Decatur has changed. But the Alabama Department of Transportation is not slowing down its efforts to finish the job at hand.

It all comes down to the bottom dollar. And this week the Alabama Department of Transportation found out they can't do the plan the city wanted, they'll have to go back to the original plan.

"That will have to compete on a statewide basis for a different type of federal aid funding and that's where funding consideration and priorities will have to be reviewed and adjusted in upcoming fiscal years," said Johnny Harris with the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Instead now the next phase to be widened on the Beltline will be from Highway 24 to Highway 20.

"After reviewing the program this current year and looking at the funding consideration it was determined by the department that we could fund the portion with a separate pot of money which is called A.P.D. money or Appalachian Development Corridor Funding," said Harris.

Things could change though anything is possible.

"What will dictate it is when that portion is begun and completed and how much funding the department receives from the Federal Highway Administration through our regular transportation bill and the priorities statewide," said Harris. "How it stacks up with other competing projects on a statewide basis for those limited funds."

read we will divert funding from this project south.

Question, how does priority change on a project after it has been started? Seems the priority would be to finish it.

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read we will divert funding from this project south.

Question, how does priority change on a project after it has been started? Seems the priority would be to finish it.

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So, I'm wondering... Now that this "Sweetwater" development is planned for the area, will city officials FINALLY seriously look at turning that highway into some kind of controlled access road?

I think it would be crazy not to. This is already one of the most dangerous roadways in the state, and introducing this massive center to the equation would make traffic problems even worse. It seems like ALDOT would seriously look at reducing entrances to the highway and put in an interstate style interchange now that there is a serious need for one. They're planning on putting a traffic light on the roadway!!! They say it's only temporary, and it probably is, but they need to start thinking now of what they're going to put there to aid in traffic flow.

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