Downtown drivers, get ready for a change.

Holmes Avenue will be transformed into a two-way street this week, with the transition of a three-block stretch. When this work is complete, the entirety of Holmes Avenue will accommodate two-way traffic flow.

Weather permitting, the Holmes Avenue conversion will take place on March 27 and 28, with traffic being diverted those days to make the necessary final changes. The first-day detour will be on Holmes between Lincoln and Greene, including those intersections. The second will be a two-block zone on Holmes from Greene to Jefferson.


It’s a combination of helping traffic flow and enhancing downtown development.”


The transition mirrors the change on Clinton Avenue that made a similar stretch a two-lane street.

The City of Huntsville commissioned a traffic study several years ago to look at Clinton and Holmes because of what was essentially a big one-way loop – east on Clinton, north on Washington, west on Holmes, then south on Jefferson, with a traffic signal at each corner.

“It’s a combination of helping traffic flow and enhancing downtown development,” Mayor Tommy Battle said. “If you’re in the downtown area and you have to circle around two blocks and you’re hitting multiple lights, it slows the traffic pattern. Converting this portion of Holmes to a two-way street should make for a more convenient experience for shoppers and diners.”


WATCH

Holmes Avenue to be converted to two way street in Downtown Huntsville

We asked Otbx and Honest Coffee Roasters – Huntsville how the Holmes Avenue traffic flow change could help Downtown Huntsville patrons.—-Details on the conversion of the Downtown stretch of Holmes Avenue to a two-way street —> https://bit.ly/2G7v2nq

Posted by City of Huntsville, Alabama – Government on Monday, 26 March 2018


“It’s very important to downtown businesses,” said Dan Sanders, Director of Traffic Engineering.

Since the change on Clinton, the street has enjoyed more robust activity and business success, coupled with the transformation of the first floor of the Clinton garage into retail space, now known as “The Garage at Clinton Row.” Similar retail space is planned for a future garage on Holmes.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • It is a three-block stretch of Holmes, between Jefferson and Lincoln, that is being transformed. Otherwise, Holmes has long been a two-way street.
  • Two of the blocks will have two lanes. The block between Greene and Lincoln will be three lanes, including a turn lane.
  • City Council has approved construction of a parking structure at the Holmes and Greene corner.
  • The one-way “slip lane” into which drivers could turn left off Lincoln and onto Holmes has been closed.
  • The angle parking spaces on the south side of Holmes between Lincoln and Greene are being re-angled to facilitate parking for drivers coming from the west.

According to Sanders, much work has already taken place, including work where signals had to be powered down, but there will be a flurry of activity in the hours leading up to the transition.

“There has been a lot of prep work with the installation of signal poles and mast arms and new signals to accommodate the new direction,” he said. “We had to dig and pour foundations for the new traffic signal poles and wiring them up was the longest lead item.”

Sanders said there are a number of signs to be removed or changed that noted “One Way” or “No Left Turn.”

The re-striping of the street is the final step, and Sanders said it could be a two-day process, depending upon the “grinding up” of the existing painted lines.