Tuscaloosa considers building bridge over train tracks - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Tuscaloosa considers building bridge over train tracks

Traffic often backs up when trains cross Dr. Edward Hilliard Drive near Druid City Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. Source: WBRC video Traffic often backs up when trains cross Dr. Edward Hilliard Drive near Druid City Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. Source: WBRC video
The city is considering building a bridge over the tracks to keep traffic moving. Source: WBRC video The city is considering building a bridge over the tracks to keep traffic moving. Source: WBRC video
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

Trains crossing Dr. Edward Hilliard Drive near Druid City Medical Center do more to back up traffic than any red light ever could.

University of Alabama student Carson Cockrell knows from experience.

"Slow ones can take up to 20 minutes. I mean it takes a while. Sometimes their fast, they take a couple of minutes. But sometimes they're really slow," he said.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox believes a bridge over the train tracks would change that.

Maddox is seeking help from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa County and other groups in applying for a federal transportation grant.

They want about $23 million dollars in grant money and about $5 million would be needed locally. The money would cover the cost of building a bridge, widening Hilliard Drive to five lanes and connecting it to a planned City Walk.

Maddox calls the idea a "no-brainer" when considering the growth the area has experienced.

"The university is growing, the city is growing and that train track isn't going anywhere. To do nothing is not an option," Maddox.

That sounds like a great idea to drivers stuck in traffic waiting on trains to clear these tracks like Rebecca Marbut.

"Right now it's a big deal to me cause I'm in a hurry," she said.

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