MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey has directed the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Director John Cooper to expand a portion of I-65 in north Shelby County from four to six lanes.

The announcement came as part of a meeting with the Shelby County Legislative Delegation

“Infrastructure development is economic development. If traffic is congested and our roads are blocked, transportation is slowed and the wheels of economic progress are slowed. As Governor, my quest is to provide Alabama’s families and small businesses with every opportunity for success; this project is just the start of our statewide focus of spurring economic growth through improving our infrastructure,” Ivey said. “By expanding I-65 in Shelby County, we are not only meeting a long overlooked need in our state, we are also signaling that economic development is central to my administration and that Alabama is open for business. I instructed Director Cooper to move forward with this project because it is the right thing to do for the people and businesses of Alabama.”

The plan will add lanes to I-65 from Exit 238 in Alabaster to Exit 242 in Pelham, making the 3.5 mile stretch of four-lane interstate into a six-lane roadway.

“Governor Ivey is to be commended for her leadership on increasing the traffic capacity along a very congested portion of I-65 in north Shelby County. Our community is experiencing tremendous population and economic growth and our roads need to keep up. I am thankful that Governor Ivey recognizes the importance of infrastructure in economic development, and I look forward to working with her on future projects, both in my district and around the state,” Senator Cam Ward said.

ALDOT will take bids on the plan before the end of the 2017 calendar year. The project is anticipated to require two years to complete, at an estimated cost of between $50 – $60 million. The chosen contractor will be notified by Feb. 1, 2018 with construction to begin by the end of Feb. 2018.

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.