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For decades, U.S. Highway 82 has served as the major thoroughfare for traffic traveling between Alabama's state capital of Montgomery and Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama.

Along the way, travelers go through Prattville, brush the outskirts of Maplesville, and as of 2015, bypass Centerville and Brent before the route heads into Tuscaloosa, assuming the well-known name of McFarland Boulevard.

The portion of that route between Prattville and Centerville remains as it has throughout the latter half of the last century until now -- a two-lane road that runs parallel to the old GM&O railroad line.

State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) would like to see that change. During an interview that aired on Montgomery radio NewsTalk 93.1's "Straight Talk," Chambliss discussed the prospects of a completed four-lane route connecting Montgomery and Tuscaloosa after updating listeners on progress made to the U.S. Highway 82 route near and around Prattville.

When asked about the prospects, he called it a long-term project.

"If I have anything to do with it, we will," Chambliss replied. "But that's a long-term project. Hopefully, after this second phase of the 82 bypass is completed, maybe we can look toward another section heading west of Prattville. There has been work in the Bibb County area for years headed this way. And hopefully, we can work on this end and kind of meet in the middle. That's a big-time need, in my opinion. Connecting our capital to one of our flagship universities is a thing that I think is needed.

"There are some rolling hills. Nothing major like the northern part of the state. We deal with it there, so we deal with it here. It's kind of in between the flatland in the south and the hilly country in the north."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.

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