McWrights Ferry Road update: Payment approved, work beginning

Mcwrights Ferry Project

The McWrights Ferry Road extension project is kicking off soon, as Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox on Tuesday OK’d a payment to the firm responsible for construction.

Thompson Engineering is being paid up to $2.9 million for this portion of the project.

District 3 City Council Member Norman Crow said he’s excited the ball is rolling on this project.

“We have been working on the right-of-way for years and now the funding is here,” Crow said. “This is a project that will help alleviate traffic congestion. It’s also a safety issue in the area.”

In a previous interview with WVUA 23, Tuscaloosa Associate Engineer Brian Gurney said that the 2-mile-long project includes adding a two-lane road between New Watermelon Road and Rice Mine Road, pedestrian lighting, a wider sidewalk and a new bridge over North River.

Once complete, the expansion ensures faster access for first responders and reduced commute times for residents living in the area.

“Residents north of the spillway will have quicker access to downtown and the University of Alabama,” Gurney said at the time. “We expect the traffic to be reduced on Rice Mine Road as well.”

This is one of the longest-anticipated projects in the history of the city, and it’s been in some stage of discussion for decades.

Once work begins, the expansion should be complete in around two and a half years.

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