Tuscaloosa neighbors raise safety concerns over road project

Tuscaloosa neighbors raise safety concerns over road project
(Source: Ugochi Iloka/WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Neighbors in Tuscaloosa's West End are speaking out about traffic and safety concerns surrounding a road project.

Starting on Stillman Blvd on MLK Jr. Blvd is where the road project begins, expanding that area from two lanes to four.

Although it's supposed to connect the West End to downtown, neighbors aren't sold on the plan because they said so much is missing from it.

"We've got to be vocal about it. We can't sit at the table and what we get, we got," said Willie Gordon, neighbor.

Consultants listened to people who live in West Tuscaloosa. Folks like Willie Gordon want to know when will their ideas be put in the plans to improve major roads like MLK Jr. Blvd.

"If this project is done half-heartedly with not all the resources invested in it as it should be, 20 years from now, it won't look any different than what it does now from my mind," said Gordon.

About $23 million will go to the Jack Warner Parkway and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard project, enough for the 4-lane expansion itself and sidewalks, but that's it.

"Tuscaloosa County Road Commission projects they should be taking from other places and adding to this area because we're so far behind," said Gordon.

Neighbors said they want features like benches, proper lighting and traffic signals installed to ensure safety.

"Make it look like any nice road in Tuscaloosa. People can cross between 6th street and MLK but in the moment, there's no traffic signal in the plans," said Car Adams, a longtime resident.

A problem Councilwoman Phyllis Odom said she's aware of and plans to address. "That will be a real safety issue going from two lanes to four and no light," said Odom.

Odom also said if money from other projects is left over, it could go towards further improving MLK with what neighbors want to see there.

Construction is expected to start this winter.

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