TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — According to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), work crews are in the final phases of resurfacing Lurleen B. Wallace Boulevard.
Crews have been working around the clock this week, day and night hoping to finish sooner. Tuscaloosa businessman Reagan Starner is frustrated and upset. He says this road work has taken to long. He owns R&R Cigar in downtown Tuscaloosa.
“I think this has been a black spot on Tuscaloosa and I think it’s awful and we’ve seen numerous businesses go under,” Starner said.
The road construction started in July 2018 and cost $23 million. New underground utilities have been installed along with landscaping and new sidewalks. New traffic lights have also been added.
John McWilliams from ALDOT says this was a needed project.
“Tuscaloosa keeps growing and growing and it’s grown by 11% in a ten-year span. Traffic continues to grow through that thoroughfare. We have 72,000 vehicles that travel that route it’s our highest count in Tuscaloosa. We appreciate the public’s patience with this project,” McWilliams said.
Starner says four or five small businesses were forced to close their doors because the road work hurt their profits and they could not survive.
“I am mad, especially for the people on this side of Lurleen. Because I feel like we are the forgotten people in downtown Tuscaloosa,” Starner said. “I think it’s just been terrible, I think the people in charge of this project should be held accountable and lose their jobs.”
ALDOT tells CBS 42 they are hoping to have the project finished in the next two or three weeks.
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