MONTGOMERY — While there were many applause lines for the 2,700 people in attendance for former President Donald Trump's address to the Alabama Republican Party at the Renaissance Hotel, his most enthusiastic came for an Alabama-centric issue.

During his speech on Friday, Trump pledged to widen Interstate 65 to six lanes from Huntsville to Mobile.

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“One of the first things that I will do to help the great people of Alabama is to approve a six-lane I-65 from Huntsville to Mobile,” Trump said. “I heard some of your great congressmen, who I introduced — every one of your congressmen have endorsed me. It's such a great honor."

"But I said, what can I do for this great state? 'You can make a six-laner,'" he declared. "Does everyone agree that’s a big deal? OK, we’ll do that first day.”

The issue has been heralded by Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, who promptly responded to the president's comments on Twitter.

Despite chronic backups even on rural parts of I-65, plans to widen Alabama's longest Interstate highway have not been a priority of the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) under the leadership of agency director John Cooper.

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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