ALABASTER, Ala. (WIAT) — This week spring break travel is in full swing and congestion on I-65 isn’t letting up, but Shelby County is working with Alabaster city leaders on a widening project to help.
Alabaster City Manager Brian Binzer told CBS 42 this new I-65 project will be very helpful for their community, but that it also has statewide significance.
He says the plan is to move forward with adding a third lane on each side of the interstate going from exit 238 in Alabaster to exit 231 in Calera.
Binzer said this is a $200 million project in total. The city of Alabaster approved the $1.75 million match requested from them, but the county is also looking for help from Calera and the federal government.
He says following through with this project will alleviate so much unnecessary traffic.
“And so, we’re trying to do our part with our segment, our seven miles of segment between us and Calera to help with the state, but it helps our folks too- our citizens and our residents- get around town, go to work all those types of things so this is critically important to us,” said Binzer.
CBS 42 talked with longtime Alabaster resident Lee McBride and he tells me he is thrilled to hear something is being done to alleviate some of the I-65 traffic folks experience there daily.
McBride says trying to get anywhere via I-65 now is a nightmare, so with less traffic people won’t get as aggravated and roads will be safer overall.
“It’s a game changer,” said McBride. “I think, you know, it’s going to save people time, I think it’s going to be safer. And, you know, Alabaster’s government in the last two years has made really good decisions and I think this is another one.”
Binzer said they expect to get the ball rolling on this project in the next 18 months.
“Why this goes quicker is because you don’t have added ride away and those types of things, but this is probably an 18-to-24-month project,” said Binzer. “So, these things do take a little time, but in the end the result is going to be very, very much appreciated.”
Binzer said the county and cities are meeting with ALDOT this week to talk funding logistics and ways to eliminate any future roadblocks before going in union to ask the federal government for their match.