I-85 extension hinges on next highway bill

YORK, Ala. (AP) - Talk of extending Interstate 85 from Montgomery to Mississippi could end in the planning stages unless Alabama's congressional delegation succeeds in getting funding in the next federal highway bill.

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby kick started planning for an interstate highway when he secured $100 million in funding in the long-range highway bill in 2005. No route has been determined yet for connecting with Interstate 20/59.

The 2005 highway bill expires in September. U.S. Rep Artur Davis says Alabama's congressional delegation needs to seek a substantial amount in the next federal highway bill so the project can go forward.

Shelby says the proposed highway would bring economic development to west Alabama.

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