The day many Tuscaloosa residents have been dreading is almost here... In just a couple weeks, a nearly 3-mile construction project will kick off along McFarland Boulevard, and is set to last until 2024.

Say goodbye to (relatively) easy driving in the mornings for the next few years. The 2.77-mile stretch reaches from Highway 69 to Rice Mine Road. It is intended to reduce travel times, improve safety and provide better access to businesses.

The contract was awarded back in late September for $33.9 million, and is the first major project covered under the ALDOT Rebuilt Alabama Act. Proceeds from the state's gas tax will be responsible for fully funding this project.

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This section of US-82 serves as the main travel road for over 50,000 vehicles per day.

"The City of Tuscaloosa has grown by 10 percent over the last decade, while Northport has jumped 33%," said Wallace McAdory, ALDOT West Central Regional Assistant Engineer. "So as both cities continue to flourish, it's vital that we do our part to support that growth with infrastructure improvements."

"This will not be an easy undertaking," McAdory said. There will be delays and setbacks, but I ask for your patience as we begin this endeavor, that may transform this portion of McFarland Boulevard to last for decades."

It's up to each driver whether the next two and a half years (at least) of constant road work will be worth it.

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