BEFORE NEW OVERPASS GETS BUILT, ALTERNATE ROADS GET A FACELIFT

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Whether you think the upcoming overpass at Skyland Boulevard and Highway 69 in Tuscaloosa is a potential nightmare or an eventual answered prayer, prepare for changing routes.

This morning, the Tuscaloosa County Road Commission finalized some plans for alternate routes while the project is under construction.

Most improvements are taking place on Bear Creek Cutoff Road, which connects Old Montgomery Highway and Highway 69 South.

The railroad tracks that cross Bear Creek Cutoff Road will either be taken up completely, which will eliminate the need for traffic to stop there, or crossing arms will be installed so traffic will only stop when a train is coming through.

A connector road will be built behind Industrial Warehouse Services to Old Montgomery Highway to reduce big truck traffic on the road as well.

Bear Creek Cutoff Road will become a through road to Highway 69 South where it meets Bear Creek Road.

District 3 Tuscaloosa County Commissioner Mark Nelson represents the area, and said he thinks these measures will help alleviate some of the heavy traffic one the major construction is underway.

“We are just going to be able to make things more tolerable for people,” he said. “Traffic is going to be bad. It is going to be a tough few years during the construction. But I think the road commission has done the right thing to step back and say we need to work on these other ways, and do all we can do before that happens so that we make that time more bearable for the folks who live down here.”

The improvements are estimated at around $2.3 million. Construction is set to begin the summer before the work on the Highway 69 overpass.

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