Three schools and one in the making are reaping the benefits of the recent opening of Park Crossing in east Montgomery.
Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes called the three-mile corridor that connects Ray Thorington Road and Taylor Road a safer, more convenient travel option.
Its opening affects the traffic of Wilson and Blount Elementary schools and Carr Middle School. Park Crossing High School, which is scheduled to open in 2013, is also located on the new road. The new road overrides the portion formally known as New Park Drive.
Downes said the city has big hopes for the area after a University of Alabama study projected 25,000 people will move into the are in the coming years.
“That’s like picking up the city of Prattville and sitting it in east Montgomery,” he said, calling the development one of the city’s next greatest projects. “It will be a very attractive road that all of Montgomery will be proud of.”
Although public access is now permitted, the road is not complete. The public-private partnership project involves the city and local developers Aronov, Alfa, Wilson, and Hampstead. The road will feature pedestrian and bike routes that promote safe and healty lifestyle choices for the residents of the projected 13,500 dwelling units.
Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Thompson said it will take a few years to see what the growth will require of the school district, but she projects a new elementary and middle school will eventually be needed. Wilson, Blount, and Carr have all nearly reached capacity.
For now, the road opening means a time and gas savings for families who live on Taylor Road, as well as the school district.
“It should take care of a lot of the traffic we currently have trying to get their kids to (those schools),” Thompson said. “It will save a lot of people a lot of time.”
Upon completion, Downes said the corridor’s price tag will be nearly $7 million dollars, nearly 80 percent of which developers will reimburse the city. He said the infrastructure matched with the area’s projected growth equals a recipe for success and rapid economic development.
This article was written by Tiffany Nabors for The Montgomery Advertiser October 9, 2012.