Maxwell Boulevard work nears completion|
by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs
7/15/2011 - MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Construction on Maxwell Boulevard is slated for completion in late August or early September, according to Wes Nelson, the project engineer for the Maxwell Boulevard road renovation.
"That is contingent on the weather and a few other factors," he said. "When you are dealing with old roadways like the ones at Maxwell Boulevard, you can run into a lot of unexpected things while digging it up that can slow things down."
Nelson said he doesn't expect traffic problems like those experienced in earlier phases of construction.
The construction of the new road will increase vehicle access and traffic efficiency, according to Tyler Caldwell, a city planner for the Montgomery Department of Development.
The result will be a more aesthetically pleasing, more functional Maxwell Boulevard.
"This reconfiguring of the boulevard will create a more desirable place to walk and drive, especially for those entering the base. There will be a raised grass median with sidewalks on both sides. Street trees will shield the pedestrians from the vehicles, and dedicated turn lanes will be integrated into the median," Caldwell said.
As the road construction nears completion, city planners prepare to start the next phase to redevelop the land around the roadway for residential and commercial use. Chad Emerson, the director of development for the city, said he hopes the base population will get involved.
"We will be holding an idea factory in August, and we would love people from the base to come out and be involved," Emerson said. "A lot of the redevelopment that's happening is going on right in their back yard, so their input is crucial when we are looking at activities and services to pursue."
The goal is to foster a rejuvenated Maxwell Boulevard community, according to Caldwell.
"The city is embarking on a public planning process for all of the land around Maxwell Boulevard. This process will address how vacant land can develop, and spur a revitalization and redevelopment of occupied land. These planning efforts will create aesthetic and economic improvements for the corridor," Caldwell said. "The plan will create a vision for a beautiful and desirable Maxwell Boulevard community, along with a roadmap and timeline on how to build the vision. The community will be a mixed use, pedestrian friendly area that maximizes adjoining assets: Maxwell, downtown, river, and interstate."
The Department of Development will hold its next idea factory Aug. 26 at 1 Dexter Plaza in downtown Montgomery at a time to be determined later.