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Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong took the stage last week to tout the county’s growth and highlight several projects. A handful of those will have a direct impact on Redstone Arsenal.

According to Strong, unincorporated Madison County saw a 3% population growth, bringing its current population to more than 111,000, which he said would make it fifth-largest city in the state.

The county also saw a 36% increase in new residential permits and a 45% increase in its overall revenue.

“That means we’re doing something right,” he said.

As it pertains to Redstone Arsenal, Strong mentioned two road projects that are designed to make it easier for people to get to and from the post.

One is the Blake Bottom Road extension, which the county received a $9.3 million grant to help pay for the construction.

The project will widen the road from Jeff Road to Research Park Boulevard to ease the burden on the roughly 12,000 cars that travel the roadways each day.

“This critical project will make commuter traffic safer to Research Park Boulevard, Cummings Research Park and Redstone Arsenal,” Strong said.

The other is a new interchange going in at Town Madison that will affect Gate 7.

“We’ve committed millions of dollars in traffic safety and intersection improvements throughout Madison County,” Strong said. “The new Blake Bottom Road interchange opened in late 2019, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization is striving to maximize federal transportation funds by coordinating the long-range plans to address both the current and future transportation demands of our community.”

Also during the event Strong presented Deborah Barnhart, who recently resigned as CEO of Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission, a “championship ring” for her contributions to local tourism, calling her “the Nick Saban of tourism.”

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