Road project in downtown Huntsville causes traffic headaches for some drivers

A portion of Pratt Avenue is down to two lanes.

Posted: Jan 10, 2019 5:34 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 10:06 AM

A big project in downtown Huntsville is causing traffic headaches for some drivers.

A portion of Pratt Avenue is down to two lanes, and some drivers have told WAAY 31 they've gotten stuck in traffic for 45 minutes. One man said he didn't expect the road closures on his way to Huntsville's public safety complex Thursday morning.

The official city map of where construction is happening; Courtesy of the city of Huntsville

"Oh, it's very hectic. It's going to be cars probably backed up and some drivers not paying attention and being distracted, might cause a lot of accidents, lane switches and merges," said Victor Garner, who lives in Huntsville.

Eventually, the area will be safer for pedestrians and drivers. Crews are improving the intersections and adding sidewalks and bike lanes. 

"You can lose your patience if you have a deadline you got to meet and you didn't realize that it was going on. I think after yesterday, once we know that this is going to be here for a good time, we're all going to adjust and we'll be patient and we'll get through it," said Donny Shaw with the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

The city's engineer Kathy Martin explained the new traffic pattern isn't complete yet but should be by Monday.

"It will remain one way in each direction on Pratt Avenue until the end of this year, maybe fall," Martin said. "All the proper signage and markings will be out to accommodate for better visibility on how the traffic control plan will work."

An impending closure that will happen in the coming months will shutdown Church Street in the area for about two months, something Garner said will impact his daughter's drive to school.

"She'll have to think about alternate routes and probably have to leave the house more earlier so she can get to class on time," said Garner.

The city is asking drivers to stay alert if travelling through this area during the project and if possible to just avoid the area altogether. 

Drivers who need access to the sheriff's office or Huntsville's public safety complex during the project are encouraged to take North Memorial Parkway and exit at University Drive to access Wheeler Avenue. If you're needing to access businesses on the other side of Church Street in the area, you can take Meridian Street to access Cleveland Avenue.

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