SHORTER, Ala. (WSFA) - Travelers between Montgomery and Auburn now have new places to stop and dine along I-85 in Macon County.
Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Shorter on Wednesday to celebrate the opening of a Burger King and a Popeye’s just off the interstate.
There are five exits off I-85 in Macon County, and Director of the Macon County Economic Development Authority Joe Turnham says the county wants to monetize and develop those exits.
“The same traffic going by EastChase, TigerTown in Opelika, comes through Macon County,” Turnham said. “We have to get in the game in economic development and this is one of the ways we’re doing it.”
This development off Exit 22 is a partnership between the town of Shorter and the franchise owners, Premier Kings of Montgomery, which owns both restaurants.
According to Turnham, the $4 million investment will create around 100 new jobs in the Shorter area.
The project is a culmination of efforts and a lot of planning, including the addition of a sewer system at the exit long before the businesses started opening.
“You have to plan for it. In other words, the town years ago invested in sewer here. If we didn’t have a sewer at this exit, we wouldn’t be having any of this business here," Turnham added.
Dozens of people turned out for the ceremony, including a representative from Sen. Doug Jones’ office.
The restaurants should be open by Thursday.