Massive phase two highway project planned for Ross Clark Circle

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Dothan, AL (WTVY)- One proposed road project may be dead but money earmarked for it is alive and well---and apparently headed to Dothan.

Rep. Paul Lee announces Phase Two of Ross Clark Circle improvements. Pictured (L-R) are Rep. Donnie Chesteen, Lee, Rep. Dexter Grimsley, and Rep. Steve Clouse.

Representative Paul Lee (R-Dothan) was among those who announced Monday a second phase of Ross Clark improvements is coming soon.

A few months after the first phase adding two lanes between Fortner Street and Bauman Drive was completed, Phase Two will six-lane the highway from Bauman Drive north to Montgomery Highway.

Lee said, “Dothan doubles in population each day and there are 500,000 people within 50 miles of here.” While that’s good economic news, he notes it burdens the city’s roadways, especially the Circle.

The improvements have, for years, been on the drawing board but funding was hard to come by. It was finally found by diverting federal funds from another highway plan.

The proposed Interstate 10 Connector project had been mostly on the back burner for nearly 30 years. No more would it occasionally accelerate than the plan to construct a limited access highway between south Alabama and the Florida panhandle sputtered.

It’s now out of gas and about $40-million earmarked for the Connector will be spent on the Circle.

Lee said it was feared a few years back the appropriation would be withdrawn but several people at the local and state level worked to keep the money intact.

Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) believes the proposed additional improvements to the Circle will pay handsome dividends when coupled with upgrades to Montgomery Highway a few years back.

A meeting seeking public input on the project will be held Thursday from 5p-7- at Westgate Recreation Center.

The plan, including how businesses will be affected, will also be shown in detail.

Work could begin late next year and be completed by 2021, perhaps a little sooner.