Work on roads funded by tax increase to begin immediately - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Work on roads funded by tax increase to begin immediately

Work on several crucial road projects could begin affecting your commute shortly after the holidays. Work on several crucial road projects could begin affecting your commute shortly after the holidays.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said work will start immediately after the city council passed a sales tax increase Thursday night. Some of those projects could impact your commute right after the holiday season.

Seven major road projects that the mayor has in the past said are necessary to avoid gridlock and major traffic issues in the next decade will now be funded in part by the proceeds of the new one percent sales tax hike.

Battle said work will start immediately to expand 565 to Shields Road and Moores Mill Road. Crews will also start on the Lily Flagg, Bird Springs and Martin Road overpasses and access roads for Memorial Parkway.

The third project will create more lanes on University Drive from Providence to County Line Road and take several years to complete.

Mayor Battle said crews will focus on putting in an overpass at Mastin Lake Road onto Memorial Parkway. The fifth project is road improvements on the parkway from Weatherly Road to Hobbs Road. The mayor said to also expect major improvements and lane expansions on Cecil Ashburn.

Finally, in what Battle calls the most important project, is the creation of a northern loop that would connect Research Park Boulevard to Memorial Parkway and stretch it past the Toyota plant. Battle said the tax increase was necessary to keep Huntsville moving forward.

"Without it, we end up in a bad place with traffic, gridlock, and everything else. With it, we stay ahead of our infrastructure and we can keep moving ahead," he said.

The tax increase is expected to raise $125 million over the course of the next five years. The state will be matching those funds.

The new tax rate goes into effect in March.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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