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First phase of Montgomery's Outer Loop project nears completion

Published: Oct. 1, 2015 at 9:40 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2015 at 10:38 PM CDT
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The Outer Loop project (Source: WSFA 12 News)
The Outer Loop project (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) - It's been 30 years in the making, but the first phase of Montgomery's Outer Loop construction project is almost complete. The first phase is expected to be open for driving by the end of 2015.

"It's a lot to pave right now, so it takes a little bit of time. And then with the weather..." explained Brantley Kirk with the Alabama Department of Transportation. It's a nearly three-mile stretch from the interchange at Interstate 85 to Vaughn Road.

"The first part was these interchanges," Kirk said. "These high bridges, were completed first. Now we're onto the second part of the project, which is paving and doing the road that leads out to Vaughn Road."

The hope is that the Outer Loop will pull some cars out of intersections that have become busier than they were built to manage.

"With this interchange being open, it's definitely going to benefit Pike Road, and it's going to take some traffic off Waugh and also some off the Mitylene exit as well," Kirk added. In the meantime, he says construction continues.

"Be mindful of the construction equipment, as well as the workers." And expect more delays on I-85 as the Outer Loop gets closer to completion.

"There will be overhead signs that are going to direct from after hours on where to get off and where those will lead to," Kirk said.

ALDOT says the installation of those signs will slow traffic down, but shouldn't force it to stop. And it will probably happen in the overnight hours, with fewer cars on the road.

Planning and environmental work for this project began back in the 1980s. The grand plan is for the Outer Loop to stretch all the way to I-65, coming out south of Hooper Academy and the Hyundai Boulevard exit. But at this point, funding just isn't available to extend it past Vaughn Road.

ALDOT has spent a total of $174 million to date on the project.

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