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Huntsville City Council greenlights Northern Bypass request; Becky Peirce Drive gets approval

HUNTSVILLE – A lot of time was spent Thursday night talking about the merits of naming local landmarks such as streets, buildings, bridges and so forth at the regular meeting of the Huntsville City Council.

But, as Councilman Bill Kling (District 4) saw it, that issue and others discussed were second to another agenda item: “A resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into an Agreement between the City of Huntsville, Alabama and Garver, L.L.C., for Engineering Construction Administration Services for Huntsville Northern Bypass.”

“I think this is the most important thing we’ve got on the agenda tonight,” Kling said. “Anything that gets this project underway, anything that gets that traffic flow out of the central area of the system where that congestion gets spread out, and of course opens up North Huntsville as a bonus too.

“These are all great things for the city.”

Kathy Martin, director of City Engineering, explained the resolution to the council.

“It’s to assist us with engineering construction services, such as surveying, as well as documentation for the Northern Bypass Project, which you approved recently,” Martin said. “So they’re assisting us. We have two full-time inspectors out there as well as a project manager.

“However, with the federal and state funds involved, we will need some assistance from a private entity. So this contract is to a ‘not exceed’ amount of $786,829. The project is a three year duration. It is based on a time of materials cost, and the cost of this contract is no cost to the city because it’s one hundred percent reimbursable through state and federal funds.”

Kling voiced his support of the measure. 

“I think this is good just to try to get this project, let people know as much as possible, this is what’s coming, it’s been worked on, and I think it’s gonna be great when it finally gets completed,” he said. “It will be a very important component of traffic flow in the city when it’s complete.”

The motion carried.

Becky Peirce Drive approved

(City of Huntsville contributed)

After discussion of roughly 30 minutes, an ordinance was passed to name one of the roads around John Hunt Park after Becky Peirce, an activist for public recreation who pushed for a municipal golf course.

The final name of the city’s public golf course was the Becky Peirce Municipal Golf Course, which closed at the end of 2016. Soon after, the city council voted to turn the land into a multi-use park.

“Mr. Kling and I quite a few times have talked about finding a way to perpetuate honoring Becky Pierce because of her service to the community and the role that she played in that early life of John Hunt Park,” said City Administrator John Hamilton. “We’ve continued to look for ways to do that. We’ve recently settled on a recommendation that we do that by naming that street after her, which runs along the west side of what was the golf course.”

The motion to name the road Becky Peirce Drive carried after the half-hour discussion, which included an aside about driving ranges, or lack thereof, in Huntsville.

The ordinance cited Peirce’s strong advocacy of the continued development of John Hunt Park, the public course adjacent to Huntsville International Airport that is now Sunset Landing, her work with the Huntsville Hospital Foundation and overall contributions to the city.

To view the ordinance and other agenda items, visit www.huntsvilleal.org.

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