Chamber hosts annual transportation summit

Area leaders gathered Tuesday for the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama’s annual Transportation Summit.

The purpose of the event is to update the progress on current road projects and those starting in the near future.

Discussion focused on projects at Exit 100, Mcwright’s Ferry Road, US Highway 82, and the Alabama Highway 69 and Skyland Boulevard intersection.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said road projects mean progress.

“I think the biggest thing you’ll see across this community, there is a lot going on investment into transportation,” Maddox said. “It’s going to make our roads a lot safer, it’s going to make certain that we continue economic development. For the city of Tuscaloosa, I mean look at the amount of road projects we have going on right now. We have Martin Luther King and Jack Warner Parkway, which is probably the most expensive road project the city has ever taken on.”

The price tag on that project is $72 million dollars, followed by the Mcwright’s Ferry Road project at $62 million.

Over in Northport, three of the major routes are state highways, so the city is focusing on its busiest city streets.

“We have really been focusing on our repaving,” said Northport City Engineer Tera Tubbs. “We finished a repaving contract last year. We have one advertised for 2022, we also have three projects the NPO has helped us fund, which will be the resurfacing of Watermelon Road, resurfacing of Charlie Shirley Road, and also resurfacing and some drainage, sidewalks and lighting updates on Main Avenue.”

Leaders like Maddox and Tubbs agreed this annual summit is a great way to come together and celebrate continued growth.

“There are certainly a lot of orange barrels, but those barrels mean progress,” Maddox said.

“I think it’s really good that we can get together and decide what our priorities are as a community and work together to get those funded,” Tubbs said.

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