Alabama lawmakers push to widen I-65 statewide
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - There’s a new push to help make some commutes a little calmer.
Lawmakers recently passed a resolution calling on the Alabama Department of Transportation to study and prioritize widening I-65 from Tennessee to the Gulf. They are working with Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth urging ALDOT to take action.
Ainsworth recently tweeted that 65 needs to be six lanes throughout the state, adding that 65 needs to be six lanes throughout the state. Ainsworth said the gridlock hurts economic development, frustrates travelers, and raises questions about how tax dollars are being spent.
A few years ago, ALDOT widened over three miles of 65 from Pelham to Alabaster. The new proposed plan is to expand the interstate to six lanes along a seven-mile stretch from Alabaster to Calera. The project costs about 200 million dollars in federal, state and local funding.
State Sen. Garlan Gudger says a bigger interstate would help the state in several ways.
“This is such an artery throughout the state of Alabama; we need to make sure that we keep that artery clean and as efficient for travelers as possible and let it help all of our communities and towns as people travel through every day,” Gudger said. “If we don’t start planning for the future, then we’re never going to be able to be where we need to be in 15 years from now.”
Along with official state support, there’s also a website, gowide65.com, calling for change.
There’s no word from ALDOT yet on this push for I-65 to be widened statewide. It could be some time before we know if the project is approved. Lawmakers are hoping to have the study ready for the next legislative session.
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