Winning bid announced for I-565 interchange
By Charles Molineaux
For The Record
MADISON – The Alabama Department of Transportation has designated an apparent low bidder for construction of a new interchange between County Line Road and I-565 in Madison, in a major step forward for the long-awaited project.
On Friday ALDOT revealed that a $9.4 million bid from Reed Contracting Services of Huntsville beat two other contenders for the job.
“This is great news for the people of Madison who need to get to Huntsville and Research Park,” said Madison Mayor Troy Trulock.
The new interchange would add two looping ramps, one from I-565 westbound to County Line Road, the other from County Line to the interstate eastbound.
“It’s what I would call a ‘modified trumpet interchange,’” explained ALDOT Division 1 Engineer Johnny Harris. “They’ll relocate the intersection of Madison Boulevard and County Line Road and add a little service road.”
The interchange would ease a chronic obstacle in western Madison. To access I-565 eastbound toward Huntsville, drivers on County Line must currently travel almost two miles east on Madison Boulevard to the interchange with Wall Triana Highway. Westbound drivers on 565 must exit on Wall Triana to reach County Line.
“There’s a huge bottleneck of all the people coming from the Redstone Arsenal or Research Park,” said Trulock, “and they all come through Wall Triana interchange.”
Reed Contracting’s bid must now be vetted by a bid review committee. Harris predicted the project could be formally awarded and a contract signed by the beginning of October, with construction to begin before the end of the year.”
“There will be construction, so there will be delays for about 18 months, starting around Christmas,” granted Trulock.
Madison developers have been eagerly waiting for the interchange.
“This opens big business opportunities,” Trulock said. “It will be a big economic driver for the city of Madison, but also Huntsville. They have three of the four corners of that interchange and a large portion of land across County Line Road.”
The project has been a long time coming. ALDOT began work on it with a study in 2005.
“It’s been around eight years now,” said Harris, “which is not atypical for this type of project development.”
Trulock said the interchange has had a “start-and-stop process.”
“It’s been working at a slower pace,” he said. “To get it to the goal line has been a significant task.”