GORDO, Ala. (WIAT) — A major road construction project in West Alabama with the Alabama Department of Transportation is making some progress.  

ALDOT is currently building a bypass in Gordo on Highway 82 in Pickens County. The first phase of the bypass is now finished. The work started in 2017 but had some setbacks due to bad weather and issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ALDOT spokesperson John McWilliams says it is going to make travel safer once completed.

“The good part of this project is it will be a four-lane from the Mississippi state line through Tuscaloosa County,” McWilliams said. “This is an important project because you will improve traffic flow and as well as safety going through that area.”

McWilliams says motorists driving to Mississippi or Tuscaloosa will not have to drive through Gordo but can take the bypass around town to head to their destination.

“It is a long project and it’s taken a while because it’s so big. This is an earth-moving project,” McWilliams said. “We’ve completed that phase that we call the ‘grade and drain,’ that’s where we have to clear the earth and make sure everything is environmentally ready and then we will let the base and pave portion to put down the asphalt and drive.”

Lisa Maughan is a Gordo business owner who says she supports the road project.

“As a person living in this community, we will be glad when the construction work is done and it’s been a long time coming,” Maughan said. “I think that having four lanes allows traffic to move through and not stay as congested in certain areas so I do think four lanes is better than two obviously.”

Phase two begins in March 2024. The overall project is expected to be finished in 2026 and will cost $46 million.