Workers took the first steps toward transforming northern Tuscaloosa last week as they laid the groundwork for the extension of McWright's Ferry Road, mayor Walt Maddox said Thursday.

In his weekly Mayor's Minute message, Maddox touted what the project will mean for Tuscaloosa residents living north of the Black Warrior River.

"This transformational project will connect Rice Mine Road to New Watermelon Road by bridging North River and connecting to McWright’s Ferry Road. The project also includes a pedestrian bridge over North River and a shared-use path which will ultimately connect to the Northern Riverwalk," Maddox wrote.

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(City of Tuscalosa)
(City of Tuscalosa)

That means faster police, fire and ambulance response times, shorter commutes and the quality of life improvement of an expanded Riverwalk are all ahead, even if still years away.

The Tuscaloosa County Road Improvement Commission estimates the project will cost just under $66 million.

Maddox said the project is scheduled to wrap in late 2025 or early 2026. He also thanked city staff and area partners for helping move the project forward.

"Success is never an accident. I want to thank the Tuscaloosa County Road Improvement Commission, the Tuscaloosa County Legislative Delegation, the Alabama Department of Transportation, Thompson Engineering, and our City Council (past and present) who supported the City taking the financial and management lead on this massive project," Maddox wrote. "To the unsung heroes of the project: Wendy Shelby, Bryan Gurney, Scott Holmes, Tom Bobitt, Carly Standridge, Becky Scheeff, and all of our team members who have shepherded this project, you have made the impossible possible. Thank you."

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