DOTHAN, Ala. (WSFA) - One of the more heavily traveled roads in Dothan is getting a little more congested, with construction equipment. ALDOT has started work to expand Ross Clark Circle.
“The city has been hoping and waiting for quite a while for this project to get started with ALDOT," said Charles Metzger, Public Works Director.
Crews are working on Phase One, which is the stretch from Bauman Drive to Highway 84. The area will expand from a 4-lane highway to a 6-lane highway. It’s the first major upgrade to Ross Clark Circle since it was first paved in the 1960s.
Access to businesses in the area is a maze of cones and flagged directions. Owners say the congestion from construction starting is not nearly as bad as regular Ross Clark Circle traffic.
“Luckily we just finished our season, so we’re not in full session during the summer,” said Tracy Solomon, owner and director of Dothan School of Dance.
“The traffic that we had here in 1984 - 1985 when I was first here - less than 40,000 cars a day,” said Metzger. “Now, it’s 80,000 plus a day. So traffic has doubled and obviously there’s only so much you can do with traffic signals.”
The work to expand the Circle also means upgrades to traffic signals to help move traffic more smoothly.
The city hopes the expansion will help catch the stretch up to the explosive growth that has happened in the area and help keep it moving.
“The better you can handle traffic flow moving through the city, obviously it helps spur development,” said Metzger.
Phase one costs roughly $4.7 million. The project is paid for through state and federal dollars. It’s not clear how long Phase One of the expansion will take. The long-term expansion will happen over the next few years and is roughly $40-50 million.