LINDEN, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Kay Ivey and other officials held a ceremony Friday to break ground on a project to construct a four-lane highway spanning rural western Alabama from north to south.
Expected to cost some $758 million over five years, the West Alabama Corridor project will provide an interstate-type highway that will eventually connect Mobile and Tuscaloosa. A bypass at the Marengo County city of Linden is the first phase of the project.
After that project, a southern leg will begin at U.S. 43 in Thomasville and run northward to the bypass. A northern section will begin from Linden to Alabama 69 north of Moundville, located just south of Tuscaloosa.
Officials in the Black Belt region have long cited the lack of access to four-lane highways as a factor holding back development in the area. Passed in 2019, the Rebuild Alabama Act has allowed the state to spend more on economic development and road projects, Ivey’s office said.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, a Democrat who opposed Ivey in the 2018 gubernatorial race, attended the groundbreaking and praised Ivey’s leadership on the highway.