CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTS 2016 TRANSPORTATION SUMMIT

Road Work00000000

From city streets, to state highways, to county roads and the interstate…..it seems there’s construction work everywhere this summer in the Tuscaloosa area. That’s good news as work is done to improve the areas infrastructure, and some would say bad news for getting around the area.
A large crowd gathered at the Tuscaloosa River Market to get updates from the Alabama Department of Transportation and from elected officials from our area concerning on-going construction work. Upgrading and maintaining our highways and roads cost money- a lot of money. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox told us that is the biggest challenge as Alabama faces serious budget issues.

“The good news is we passed last year the transforming Tuscaloosa County legislation which is going to invest about 350-million dollars over the next 20 years in infrastructure projects across the county {edit}…..and it’s really exciting to see whereas most counties in Alabama are going to be facing shortfalls in infrastructure, we’re going to be able to continue to keep pace despite Aldot’s funding woes.”

Today’s summit provided updates on major construction projects like the just completed University Boulevard project, the Mitt Lary Road improvements in Northport, improvements on both Highway 69 North and South and major work projects for Jack Warner Parkway and MLK Jr. Blvd. Meanwhile, many of the projects affect the University of Alabama campus. Dan Wolfe, a planner and designer for the University says through a financial commitment allows the university to plan for continued growth.
“Certainly from our standpoint on campus, I think we’re keeping up infrastructure-wise with the growth and certainly it’s been unprecedented growth, we’ve gone from 9,000 students to now probably this fall it’ll be over 38,000 students and so we understand that, and from a planning standpoint we’ve invested over $2 billion on campus improvements over the past 10 years to keep up with that growth.”
And of course, it would have been a transportation summit without the big I20/59 construction project coming up. ALDOT admits that the work is slow going and ask the public to do your part.

“If the public could just be considerate and pay attention to the speed limit and don’t be in too big a hurry to change lanes and pass somebody up…..accidents seem to be the major cause of delay and not the construction itself, ” said James Brown with ALDOT.

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