By Rebecca Croomes
Road projects within the city of Athens are changing the way Limestone County residents get around.
City Public Works Director James Rich said the recent replacing of several city traffic lights with stop signs has improved traffic flow and reduced speeding in those areas. This change includes turning the intersections of Bryan and Madison streets, the intersection of Houston, Lee and Brownsferry streets, the intersection of Sanders and Pryor streets and the crossing at Fifth Avenue and Sanders Street into either a two or four-way stop.
Rich was in Montgomery last week for a meeting with the Alabama Department of Transportation. He discussed other projects affecting Athens roads.
The widening of U.S. 72 under a railroad overpass is still on the work schedule for ALDOT, Rich said, although it’s been more than six months since crews were at the scene taking soil samples. He did not have an estimate for when the work would begin.
Market Street is slated to have its railroad crossing updated with safety gates within the next 12 months, Rich said.
In 90 days, work will begin on widening the intersection of Lucas Ferry and Sanderfer roads. This is one of three projects Rich outlined specifically for Athens in the city’s Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program grant.
Also on the ATRIP schedule is the replacement of a dilapidated post bridge on Cambridge Lane and the paving of Lindsay Lane from Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road to U.S. 251, excluding the area around Canebrake subdivision to Pepper Road.
Each of those programs cost around $500,000, Rich said.
Aside from the major roadway projects, Rich said the city is continuing its paving program on smaller streets downtown that are due for resurfacing. The Waste Water Department is also involved with repairing some city streets as it does rehabilitation and repairs. The work on Irvin Street up to Sanders Street has been completed.
Rich said Athenians should be on the lookout, as construction of the new city hall will affect traffic patterns; but once the work is done, the city will repave the area around Marion and Hobbs streets.