on April 22, 2015 at 12:07 PM, updated April 22, 2015 at 12:08 PM
A busy section of Bob Wallace Avenue will be under construction for the next few months.
Work is expected to start next week on a project to improve both traffic flow and drainage on Bob Wallace Avenue between Memorial Parkway and L&N Drive.
The road upgrades are part of an $8 million incentive package that Huntsville approved for The Shops at Merchants Walk, a new Whole-Foods anchored shopping center opening this fall.
Earlier this month, the Huntsville City Council voted to pay Midsouth Paving $529,605 for the Bob Wallace Avenue improvements.
City Project Engineer Toneka Dorsey-Lindsey said the work includes widening the road by 10 feet, replacing an existing water line, improving storm drainage and adding a new traffic light with left-turn lane at the shopping center entrance. The stretch between the Parkway and L&N Drive will also be repaved.
Dorsey-Lindsey said the contract requires Midsouth Paving to keep at least one lane open in each direction at all times.
The road construction is expected to start Monday or Tuesday; orange barrels are already piled up on the south side of Bob Wallace Avenue across from the shopping center.
The contract gives Midsouth until Aug. 18 to finish the job, Dorsey-Lindsey told AL.com.
The Shops at Merchants Walk will include a two-story parking deck being paid for by the developer, RCP Merchants Walk.
The City Council voted in February 2014 to lease the parking deck from the developer for 25 years. The deal called for Huntsville to pay $2 million when Whole Foods was issued a building permit, $1.3 million when the grocery store opens, and $1.3 million more when the additional restaurant and retail space is completed.