Tuscaloosa looking ahead to 2020

Special Reports

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Tuscaloosa city leaders tell us 2020 will be a busy year with lots of change and progress in “T-Town.”  You can expect to see many construction projects meant to improve the quality of life in Tuscaloosa.

A rendering of the McFarland Bridge replacement

One of the biggest projects you will see in 2020  is the McFarland Bridge Replacement Project on I-59/20.  ALDOT workers are adding lanes, the job will cost $83 million.  When the project is finished one year from now the bridge will be painted crimson as a tribute to Alabama football.

John McWilliams of Tuscaloosa ALDOT explained, “It’s going to be great for the motorist and the public to see as well.  By having those additional lanes motorists can get to their destinations quicker and visually it will look nicer and by having these arches you will open up more lanes underneath McFarland Boulevard.”

Expect a new flyover bridge in 2020.

By the middle of next year construction work is expected to start on the new flyover bridge on Highway 69 South and Skyland Boulevard.  When completed motorists will no longer have to stop for traffic lights at the intersection.

McWilliams said, “Probably by mid-2020 we will have the leading of our (Highway) 69 flyover bridge, that’s the one that will take you from I-359 to Highway 69 over U.S.-11 which is Skyland Boulevard. You won’t have to come to a complete stop you will go all the way across without stopping which makes it safer and a lot easier to access.”

Another major economic project for the city in 2020 is Elevate Tuscaloosa.  It’s expected to generate $250 million in city revenue. The money will fund projects in education, transportation, and recreation.  One of those is investing in the Tuscaloosa Airport making upgrades to the runway and terminal.

Jim Page of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama said, “We think the investment into the infrastructure at the airport with the runway and also the terminal we think investments from the city will go a long way toward getting commercial service returned here.”

Page is the president of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.  He tells CBS 42 he expects 2020 to be a good year for the automotive industry in Tuscaloosa, bringing more jobs to Mercedes thanks to a new battery plant under construction.

Next time Alabama fans take a seat inside Bryant-Denny Stadium they will see a number of changes. Construction is underway to add four new video boards and fans can expect new and improved seating that includes high-end club seats and new skyboxes.

Page said, “Well, we all know that the gameday experience is a huge economic driver for this community.  A typical home game weekend is around $20 million in economic impact. So if we can continue to improve that gameday experience at the stadium that’s going to continue to draw more and more people here.”

The construction work at Bryant-Denny will be finished by September 2020 and will cost $106 million.


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