Ivey announces plan to widen Interstate 65 in Shelby County, other projects

Kay Ivey

The Associated Press

HOOVER (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced three major interstate construction projects Thursday, including the widening of Interstate 65 in Shelby County.

Ivey announced the $500 million in construction projects during a news conference in Hoover. The largest project is the widening of I-65 from Alabaster to Calera. The stretch of roadway south of Birmingham is often congested with commuter and commercial traffic. The project is expected to increase the width of the interstate from two lanes each way to three lanes each way __ jumping from four lanes to six overall.

The project, which includes multiple bridges over rail tracks and roadways, will cost an estimated $300 million, according to Ivey’s office.

“It was exciting to think about this announcement as I drove up 65 this morning, seeing the progress we are making around Clanton and the progress we have already made around Alabaster,” Ivey said. “Improving Alabama’s infrastructure is one of my top priorities as governor.”

The widening of Interstate 65, which runs from the Tennessee-Alabama state line to Mobile, has emerged as a political issue. Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth said the state should make it a priority to widen all of I-65 to six lanes.

The second largest project is the construction of a new interchange to connect Interstate 459 to Highway 150 and South Shades Crest Road in Hoover. The final project is to widen a four-mile stretch of Interstate 59 from I-459 to Chalkville Mountain Road.

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