West Alabama Highway Corridor: West Alabama leaders convened once again on Thursday to ensure momentum on the West Alabama Highway Corridor, a critical project set to extend Highway 43 from Tuscaloosa to Mobile. The $760 million price tag raised concerns recently, with lawmaker Chris Elliott expressing reservations.
Undeterred, local and state leaders, including Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, emphasized the necessity of this long-awaited investment. Governor Kay Ivey and ALDOT broke ground in November 2021, with 10% of the 80-mile extension completed.
Despite concerns over costs, State Senator Gerald Allen urged staying the course for the benefit of rural Alabama. Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day emphasized the economic impact, citing job creation and long-term growth along the corridor. With safety in mind, he highlighted the daily influx of 22,000 vehicles through his town.
Senator Elliott stressed the importance of gaining FHWA permitting for the West Alabama Corridor to access federal funding. Currently lacking FHWA permitting limits the use of federal dollars, emphasizing the need for strategic planning to maximize the project’s impact. The consensus among West Alabama leaders is clear: it’s time for progress on the West Alabama Highway Corridor.