Chamber’s Next Level Series puts focus on infrastructure

Local business leaders and residents packed into a room Wednesday, eager to learn more about what Tuscaloosa has in store for its infrastructure developments.

This event was the third of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama’s Next Level Series, offering a glimpse from experts on local issues such as crime, diversity, workforce barriers and more.

“Infrastructure is not exactly an exciting matter until you don’t have it, and we’re growing at a rate that it demands our attention,” said Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge Rob Robertson.

Tuscaloosa County saw 16% population growth between the 2010 and 2020 U.S. Census Report. Tuscaloosa grew 10%, Northport grew a whopping 33% and the rest of the county grew nearly 20%.

“We do have a lot of projects going on here in Tuscaloosa County, and a lot more coming,” Robertson said.

Tuscaloosa County maintains 1,594 miles of roads and 210 bridges. Of those, 300 are dirt roads.

Something that makes Tuscaloosa unique from an infrastructure standpoint is its water and sewer system, which the city owns and operates.

“We have water lines, sewer lines and then the treatment plants that goes with both of those.,” said Tuscaloosa Infrastructure and Public Safety Director Jerrod Milligan. “We also have roads, bridges, we have a traffic network that includes fiber networks.  We have a broad range of infrastructure responsibilities.”

Currently, the city of Tuscaloosa is working on five major projects:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Jack Warner Parkway
  • Western Riverwalk
  • Stillman Boulevard bridge
  • McWright’s Ferry Road
  • University Boulevard corridor

Meanwhile, Northport is focused on growing with its population, said Northport City Administrator Glenda Webb.

“Infrastructure is a big topic for us every day,” Webb said. “Not only roadways but water and sewer expansion, so we can provide that as a utility, as well as storm drainage ways and storm drainage impacts.”

The Next Level Series continues March 9. You can learn more about the event right here.


Categories: Local News