Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced Monday that the Alabama Department of Transportation will expand McFarland Boulevard from Highway 69 to Rice Mine Road.

Ivey said ALDOT is purchasing the right of way on that stretch of McFarland Boulevard, which runs through parts of Tuscaloosa and Northport, as part of the Rebuild Alabama Plan funded by the gasoline tax increase the state legislature approved earlier this year.

“Enhancing this particular section of US 82 will provide safer and more efficient travel on one of Alabama’s busiest four-lane roads,” Governor Ivey said. “Tuscaloosa is a city known for how it has rebuilt itself, and with these necessary infrastructure projects, we will see this area thrive even more. Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas will certainly have a better future for it.”

In a press release, Ivey said acquiring the right of way would likely take a year and that construction would begin in the second year of the project.

In the same release, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox expressed support of the project and the tax that will fund it.

“Governor Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama Act passed with bipartisan support because job creation requires roads and bridges with the capacity to connect the present to the future,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said. “Tuscaloosa appreciates the governor’s leadership in securing this critical investment in the First Year Plan, and we look forward to working with her in strengthening our city.”

Read the full press release on the governor's website here.