HOOVER — Thursday at Hoover City Hall, Gov. Kay Ivey announced three infrastructure projects to be completed as part of the Rebuild Alabama Act.

Rebuild Alabama Act was a comprehensive transportation plan that included a phased-in gas tax increase that would go toward the state's Department of Transportation for infrastructure projects, preservation and maintenance.

The three projects announced Thursday were the widening of Interstate 65 from Alabaster to Calera to six lanes, a new interchange to connect Interstate 459 to Alabama Highway 150 and South Shades Crest Road in Hoover, and the widening of Interstate 59 from I-459 to Chalkville Mountain Road in Trussville.

"It was exciting to think about this announcement as I drove up 65 this morning, seeing the progress we are making around Clanton and the progress we have already made around Alabaster," Ivey said in her announcement. "And folks, let me tell you, this is just one of many Alabama roads benefiting from our Rebuild Alabama effort. We are all familiar with the phrase 'no man left behind'. Well, Rebuild Alabama seeks to ensure we have no road, bridge or area of our state left behind."

"Improving Alabama's infrastructure is certainly one of my top priorities as governor," she added.

The six-laning of I-65 has recently been a much talked about topic from Alabama lawmakers and Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth.

"This ... will make a tremendous difference to Alabamians," the Governor said of widening I-65.

Ivey touted Rebuild Alabama as a "team effort" but warned there would be "growing pains" with the upcoming projects.

"We have been working a long time to make these announcements possible – projects totaling about half a billion dollars," she added. "These are wise investments to Rebuild Alabama, and I am proud to get dirt churning on these all within the year."

In an interview with 1819 News, State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) described the announcement as a "big day" for Jefferson County.

"This is a big day for Jefferson County," Waggoner outlined. "You know, we've got three projects — and I didn't know about them until last week, OK — especially the I-65. That's the one that affects so many of us that go to Montgomery every week - traffic, traffic."

"[T]hose are three huge projects for Jefferson County," he continued. "And we need to thank the Governor and ALDOT for their wisdom in creating those projects."

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email trent.baker@1819news.com.

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