The city of Tuscaloosa celebrated the completion of a major $10 million infrastructure project linking key parts of the growing River District downtown.

The pedestrian bridge will take walkers over Jack Warner Parkway and connect the Mercedes-Benz Amphitheater and the recently-renamed Parker-Haun Park to the Saban Center coming soon to the Tuscaloosa News property.

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“18 years ago, when I was sworn in, I promised to build a bridge to the future,” Mayor Walt Maddox said during the ceremony. “18 years later, that future includes nearly universal pre-K, dual-enrollment scholarships for every single 10th, 11th and 12th grader at our City schools and a higher quality of life. Today that bridge to the future includes this pedestrian bridge. It is going to provide a link between our downtown and our riverfront.”

Council President Kip Tyner also attended the ribbon-cutting and celebrated this accomplishment.

“This is going to be the busiest section of the entire City of Tuscaloosa,” Tyner said. “With The Saban Center, the amphitheater, the park, this [bridge] is so needed. I just think it’s a very proud moment for the City of Tuscaloosa and I’m just very proud that I was able to support it and work with the City Council that unanimously supported this as well.”

The $10.6 million project was approved by the city council last November and was partially funded by a $15 million federal BUILD grant that retiring US Senator Richard Shelby secured for the city in 2020.

The 5 million federal dollars set aside for the bridge would have covered most of its cost when early estimates said it would only require $6 million, but that price tag skyrocketed with the costs of labor, material and more.

The rest of the funding came from the Elevate Tuscaloosa tax plan.

For more from the city on Elevate projects and more, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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