It’s finally happening: McWrights Ferry Road extension begins this month

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Gracie Fusco

After years of planning and discussions, Tuscaloosa is expected to break ground this month on an expansion to McWrights Ferry Road.

The 2-mile extension will connect New Watermelon Road to Rice Mine Road via a new bridge, cutting down on commute times for residents in the area and ensuring first responders have better access.

“It can cut your drive time 12 to 15 minutes,” said NorthStar EMS Operations Director Edgar Calloway. “It’s going to make a huge difference in our response times in that area and our return times to the hospital.”

The $68 million project was funded through the Tuscaloosa County Road Improvement Commission, which gets its money from local municipalities in addition to state and federal grants.

The extension also includes a pedestrian bridge over North River and a shared-use pedestrian and bicycle path that will connect to the Northern RiverWalk.

“It’s exciting because it’s great for public safety and traffic reduction,” said District 3 Tuscaloosa City Council Member Norman Crow. “I think it will also create some economic opportunities in the district, so most people are excited to see the dirt turning on this project.”

If you’d like to share your ideas or concerns with city leaders, the commission is hosting a meeting Thursday, Feb. 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Phelps Activity Center in Tuscaloosa.

Residents are encouraged to come ask questions and learn more about the project.

Categories: Local News