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From state line to state line, Georgia's portion of Interstate 75 is six-laned. Many of the exits along Georgia's longest Interstate highway, from the suburbs south of Chattanooga, Tenn. to Valdosta, have $1 billion in business investment, ranging from distribution centers to hotels, motels and restaurants. Alabama's version of Interstate 75, which is Interstate 65, pales in comparison.
Except for portions from the Blount County-Cullman County line to Alabaster, Prattville to the U.S. Highway 80-Selma exit and Saraland to its terminus at Interstate 10, Interstate 65 remains as it has since it was constructed as a four-lane limited access Interstate highway.
Traffic jams are not unusual on I-65, which could be considered Alabama's "Main Street," given it connects Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham directly and Huntsville with its spur, Interstate 565.
In recent years, traffic has been especially heavy between Birmingham and Montgomery in Chilton and Autauga Counties, one of the more rural stretches of the route.
On Saturday, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth apparently got a dose of the frustration many I-65 travelers have been dealing with for quite some time.
In a post to social media from somewhere along I-65, Ainsworth vented that frustration.
Among the top infrastructure needs in Alabama is three-laning I-65 from the Tennessee line to Mobile. Far too often, I-65 is essentially one long parking lot. It frustrates drivers, hurts commerce, and fails to serve the needs of taxpayers. It should have been done decades ago. pic.twitter.com/AZVPMFQjYU— Will Ainsworth (@willainsworthAL) October 15, 2022
"Among the top infrastructure needs in Alabama is three-laning I-65 from the Tennessee line to Mobile. Far too often, I-65 is essentially one long parking lot. It frustrates drivers, hurts commerce, and fails to serve the needs of taxpayers. It should have been done decades ago," Ainsworth tweeted.
Aside from serving as a major thoroughfare for the entire state, a significant portion of I-65 north of Montgomery is also used by out-of-state travelers for trips to the Gulf Coast beaches, from Panama City Beach, Fla. to Dauphin Island.
Ainsworth, the early favorite among potential GOP hopefuls for the 2026 gubernatorial election, could win the favor of voters with a campaign pledge to improve I-65.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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