The city of Andalusia has received its largest grant in history and it's going towards fixing up one of the city's busiest streets...
City leaders have been talking about fixing this street up for years now and they tell us getting this grant is finally the last major road project for Andalusia.
Michael Smith drives patients in this ambulance several times a day on South Three Notch Street -- but it's a very bumpy ride.
"Driving down the road can be very very rough at times due to the potholes that develop in it.. during the period of a year," Said Smith.
Smith owns Advanced EMS, one of about 30 medical facilities located on the street, which makes fixing the street even more important to deliver patients safely.
"When the rain and water that does not run off does puddle in the bottom of the hills and everything, it kind of makes it dangerous for the emergency vehicles to come up and down the road," Said Smith
But a nearly $8.6 million grant from the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, also known as ATRIP, will soon give them a smoother ride.
"In addition to the medical facilities we have out there we have one entrance to our elementary school and there are about 600 students in that elementary school. So, in the mornings, delivery time -- and the afternoons, pick up time... that's a very heavily traveled area on parts of that street," Said Mayor Earl Johnson.
He says they'll be replacing all utility poles, water lines and gas lines. All electrical services will be placed underground and the road will be resurfaced, adding more lanes and sidewalks. But when it comes time for construction, one concern is patient delivery.
"You'll have access to the hospital and those facilities because the construction will be staged to permit that. We'll also have traffic control out there during these times to help implement the traffic flow," Said Johnson.
Because South Three Notch Street is the medical center of Andalusia, Johnson says separating construction into phases will make this a year-long project.
City leaders tell us they're currently doing a traffic study to see how they can do construction while patients are being delivered from these facilities. They hope to start construction January 2014.