Madison County leaders are celebrating the largest federal transportation grant they have ever received. They will use the $9.3 million to transform Blake Bottom Road.
They will widen the road from Jeff Road to Research Park Boulevard, which leads to some of the area's largest employers. Nearly 11,000 drivers use it every day to get to the Arsenal and Research Park, and that number will likely grow in the future.
Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong said they applied for this grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
"We look at traffic studies. We look at fatalities," Strong said. "As a matter of fact, this morning at 10:30, there was another wreck with entrapment on Blake Bottom Road."
Commuters said the two-lane road is dangerous, and drivers make bad decisions.
"People drive down the wrong side of the road all the time, because they're behind someone that's driving too slow," a driver, Julien Allison, said. "I've seen it many times coming up and down this road, and it's very dangerous."
Strong said the road has been on the county's radar for awhile, and the county planned to fund the expansion. Once the commission got word of this federal grant, that changed. It comes as Madison County experiences record growth.
Strong said it is a big accomplishment to receive this funding, but work is not done.
"Our biggest issue is to continue to address transportation issues and this is just another. This is a big one," Strong said.
Strong said this project will be a long process, but it begins now. The money the county had set aside for this project will be used to add another phase to the work on Winchester Road.