Selma hosts hearing for I-85 extension

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Call it an exhibition of the road ahead.  At Carl C. Morgan, Jr. Civic Center, developers presented  high tech images and maps residents could touch, read, and question.

"I was looking for my house to see if it was coming anywhere near my home. So far, it looks good," said Lola Sewell of Selma.

A single yellow line on the maps marked the preferred route--the culmination of a five year study.

Designers proposed adding 126 miles of interstate--starting in Montgomery, looping around Selma, near Uniontown and Demopolis, going all the way to Interstate 20-59 near Cuba.

Engineers battled swamps and cities as they tried to stretch I-85 across the state.

"We looked at different issues such as close proximity to U.S. [Highway] 80, to have buildable segments and provide something the public can use," explained ALDOT's Brian Ingram.

Through the use of computers, residents weighed the effects of the project.

"I think if people want the things we have here in Selma. We have a lot of attractions here.  I think they'll come," said property owner Rubye Merritt.

Others wait anxiously and hope the extension paves the way for a brighter future.

"Maybe this will boost the economy.  I don't know.  I hope it does.  I hope it does get better for everybody," said Tim Henderson of Sardis.

The final public hearing is set for Thursday night at Montgomery's Southlawn Middle School at 5:00PM.

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