The transformation of South Huntsville is one step away from a new project that should “revitalize” the area.
The City Council voted March 22 to approve a $7.5 million contract to construct a two-mile multi-modal road and greenway project to extend Haysland Road from the new Grissom High School to Hobbs Road, near the Bell Mountain Park.
Coupled with the completion of the South Parkway overpass system, which is running nearly a year ahead of schedule and should be completed in the fall, the Haysland Road project will open up a congested traffic situation and should be a boon for development.
It opens up a whole window for the south side of Huntsville.”
“It will very much revitalize not just residential but also commercial development,” said Dr. Jennie Robinson, the City Council member who represents the area. “It will open up a whole new area for development.
“It will really change things. With the overpasses being complete and the Haysland Road extension, it will change traffic patterns and ease of access,” Robinson continued. “That’s a tremendous selling point for South Huntsville. It will make a really prime place for people to want to live.”
Though a number of businesses have closed along South Parkway in recent years, including in the immediate Haysland area, the accessibility should prompt a resurgence.
“There’s great redevelopment potential, not just residential but commercial and retail,” said City Engineer Kathy Martin. “It opens up a whole window for the south side of Huntsville.”
Martin expects site work to begin almost immediately, with a two-year timetable for completion.
What you should know about the Haysland Extension
— The two-mile extension begins just south of Grissom, behind the Jackson Bend subdivision and goes to Hobbs Road. A traffic light will be installed at Hobbs Road.
— The Hays family has donated land for a preserve that will run alongside the road, providing a buffer zone between the traffic and the neighborhood
— The multi-modal greenway path for bikes and pedestrians will serve students walking to Grissom.
— Eventually, the greenway will stretch from Grissom to Bell Mountain Park, then connect with the LandTrust path to Ditto Landing. There it will connect with the Aldridge Creek Greenway that leads from the river to Jones Valley.
Extension will ease Redstone Arsenal traffic
The Haysland Road extension will be five lanes in the immediate vicinity of Grissom High, but narrow to three lanes as it connects with existing neighborhoods.
Of paramount importance is easing the traffic flow into Grissom, which can impede traffic on South Parkway, it will offer commuters another option for entering and exiting Gate 3 on Redstone Road.
Martin said a second phase of the project would be work on connector roads into the existing neighborhoods and to enhance the potential for new neighborhoods.