South Memorial Parkway mainline to open

Governor Kay Ivey along with Mayor Tommy Battle will be in attendance for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open it to the public.

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 6:33 PM
Updated: Jul 31, 2018 10:38 AM

The mainline overpass at South Memorial Parkway and Byrd Spring Road will open to the public tomorrow morning.

The $54 million project started in 2015 and will soon be wrapping up. That means traffic will be less congested in the area giving both drivers and local businesses some relief.

WAAY 31 talked to local businesses to get their reactions on the mainline opening.

"We're very excited about it. We're hoping that more people will come back to shop at this end of town," said Tim Blair the owner of B&B Jewelers.

Excitement was the main reaction WAAY 31 got when talking to businesses that were impacted by the construction on south memorial parkway. Tim Blair who owns a jewelry store told me the construction really put a damper on his business.

"The first year of construction was the worst. yeah, that was a very negative impact on most of the small businesses around here," said Blair.

Another thing the businesses agree on is how much of a pain traffic has been for their customers.

"It's bumper to bumper at the busiest times of days which is typically when people are ready to go home ready to get something to eat. They want to stop and eat but they'd rather go somewhere where it's easier to turn in," said Deloria Stubbs the shift leader at Blue Plate Cafe.

Blair said, he would often get calls from frustrated customers. "We had times when customers and were trying to get here before we closed and they were tied up in traffic."

Both Stubbs and Blair said they believe their customers will be much happier once the mainline is opened.

"We have those regular customers that just come regardless. I guarantee they're going to be the ones most thrilled about it," said Stubbs.

The construction isn't completely over because some of the roads still need to be paved and stripped the project manager told me the project is being done ahead of schedule. Work wasn't expected to be completed until summer 2019 but Stubbs said she's happy it was done earlier.

"I am very thrilled that they got it done early. it definitely makes the commute in huntsville a lot faster."

The Alabama Department of Transportation spokesman who told us the work on phase one was completed early because of incentives offered to the construction company. That allowed the company to get a head start on phase two.

The Alabama Department of Transportation told us they don't know when the project will be 100% done, but they don't anticipate the remaining work to have a major impact on traffic. They don't anticipate the remaining work to have an impact on traffic.

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