Interstate 65 to be widened from Alabaster to Calera

Published 11:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

Interstate 65 is set to be widened from Exit 238 in Alabaster south to Exit 231 in Calera allowing residents safer travel through Shelby County and bringing increased economic growth.

The $300 million project to widen I-65 was announced by Shelby County, Gov. Kay Ivey and 58 INC to a group of local officials from Shelby and Jefferson counties gathered at Hoover City Hall on Thursday, Aug. 31.

“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. “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.”

The widening project includes six bridges over rail tracks and two bridges over County Road 26. The project is divided into three phases that will eventually be under construction all at once. This project has an estimated cost of $300 million and the Shelby County Commission, city of Alabaster, city of Calera and 58 Inc. are providing a total of $20 million in local matching funds, with the remaining funds coming from the state of Alabama.

“Improving Alabama’s infrastructure is one of my top priorities as governor,” Ivey said.

The widening aims to alleviate delays that may hinder the county’s potential economic growth and hopes to draw new investment to the area as a natural location for business.

County Manager Chad Scroggins discussed the positive impact the widening of I-65 will bring to the county.

“Working to serve our residents and business owners, this widening project will improve traffic flow within Shelby County (and) enhance the quality of life for citizens and workers,” Scroggins said.

58 INC President Amy Sturdivant discussed the boost to business the project will bring.

“The widening of I-65 will provide a more robust infrastructure for businesses and improved distribution for area manufacturers,” Sturdivant said.

Alabaster Mayor Scott Brakefield shared his thoughts on the traffic relief the project will bring for Alabaster residents.

“When there is heavy congestion in our area on I-65, it causes extra traffic on our local roads, especially Highways 31 and 119,” he said. “The hope is to improve the lives of Alabaster residents after some of that congestion has been reduced.”

Calera Mayor Jon Graham also noted how the project will benefits the citizens of Calera.

“We expect that widening I-65 will not only help businesses and residents in Calera, but the aim is to ease traffic issues experienced by Shelby County guests as well,” he said.

Due to the benefits from the scope of the project, the widening has garnered financial support from multiple partners. The project would not be possible without the support of Gov. Ivey and her work to push it forward. The project is also possible thanks to multiple organizations including, Shelby County, the city of Alabaster, the city of Calera and 58 INC, Shelby County’s economic development corporation as well as support from the community.