TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Drivers along McFarland Boulevard in the Tuscaloosa area are encountering some significant construction projects these days. For anyone who has wondered about the purpose of the work and when it should be finished, here are the answers.
One project has been underway for months, near the intersections of McFarland and 13th and 15th Streets. Alabama Department of Transportation Tuscaloosa Area Construction Engineer Dee McDaniel says the anticipated completion date for the project is mid-August.
This project involves:
- Widening of intersections at both 13th and 15th Streets (three left turn lanes along McFarland at 15th Street, in both directions of travel)
- New signals at both intersections, as well as new signals at Veterans Memorial Parkway and Eastwood Avenue
- Improvements along 15th Street, to west of 6th Avenue and to Eastwood Avenue on the east side (resurfacing)
Drivers will notice the other project affecting McFarland Boulevard, now underway in Northport and near Towncenter Boulevard in Tuscaloosa. This project will be ongoing over the next year, at selected locations from Northport to the Skyland
Boulevard area. The goal is to better manage the overall traffic flow along the McFarland corridor. McDaniel says the design is similar to recent US Highway 280 improvements in Shelby County.
This project involves:
- Addition/deletion of selected turn lanes to improve traffic flow
- Selected existing crossovers and turnouts will be modified to allow only left turn off McFarland; turnout will allow only a right turn onto McFarland
- Turn lane improvements along McFarland, from 37th Street East to Skyland Boulevard; installation of a sidewalk along the west side of McFarland through this area, from 37th Street to just south of I-20/59 northbound exit ramp intersection
- Signals to be removed and not replaced at intersections of McFarland Boulevard and Northwoods Crossings, Towncenter Boulevard and McFarland Mall
- Adaptive signal technology will allow signals to coordinate and adjust as needed, in response to traffic flow
McDaniel says ALDOT asks for the public's patience and believes both projects will eventually produce a much better experience for drivers.
"With this first project hopefully being finished in just six weeks or so, I think they're going to see a major improvement over what we have now, obviously, and what was there before," McDaniel said. "And then when we take this second project into account, and all these signals really get tied together, I think it's really going to make a significant difference out there."