TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (WIAT) – The Alabama Department of Transportation will begin a road construction project next week that is expected to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion along US-82 and McFarland Boulevard from Interstate 69 to Rice Mine Road.

ALDOT spokesman John McWilliams said this will be the first major Rebuild Alabama Act project in Tuscaloosa County.

The 2.77-mile project will add one traffic lane in each direction, provide better access management for businesses, and add a shared-use lane for cyclists and pedestrians.

“Basically it’s resurfacing and adding new lanes on McFarland Boulevard from Highway 69 to Rice Mine Road, but it will be more just resurfacing,” McWilliams said. “We’re adding new lanes and extending turn lanes and also installing a bike and pedestrian lane, so it’s a lot of work in the busy Tuscaloosa County corridor.”

Rebecca Patterson, owner of Gourmade Kitchen, has concerns, but says the section of road needs improvement and this project will be a good thing.

“It’s good and bad, but we can’t wait to see the end result,” Patterson said. “We know this will give our customers a better opportunity to get in here, but I think we will need to have repeat customers for the next two years as construction continues,” she said. “I hope it won’t cause too many problems, it will be good for us because it means more access.”

Construction is expected to begin Dec. 13 and finish in the summer of 2024. At least two lanes will be open in each direction on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The latest traffic counts show that more than 50,000 journeys are made per day on the busy motorway.

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