Mayor Walt Maddox announced today that the city of Tuscaloosa is making headway on an improvement project for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Jack Warner Parkway (MLK/JWP).

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According to a Monday afternoon Facebook post, Maddox said the city received "the phase one construction bid and it was $600,000 less than budgeted." With an anticipated start date around Thanksgiving, the total cost of the project will be about $9.6 million. Phase Two of the project is set to execute during the summer of 2021 and will last until the summer of 2023.

The major points of improvement will be seen from Stillman Boulevard to 21st Avenue.

"The strengthening and widening of the existing train trestle will provide safer passage for vehicles and public safety vehicles," Maddox said in his announcement. "The improvements include a four-lane street-scaped section with sidewalks and a shared use path connecting to the Western Riverwalk."

The Western Riverwalk is slated to begin construction in 2021 and will cost $20 million to complete. This project is funded by Elevate Tuscaloosa and "a recent Build Grant from the US Department of Education."

Maddox added that the MLK/JWP project is estimated at a total of $32 million and will be completed in two phases.

The Tuscaloosa Thread will publish more information on these ongoing initiatives as it becomes available.