I-65 widening to begin in 2024, be completed in 2027

Published 4:54 pm Monday, December 11, 2023

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer 

ALABASTER – The county has shared that the upcoming widening of Interstate 65 is planned to be in full-construction by spring 2025 with an estimated completion date of 2027.

The Shelby County Commission discussed plans for the widening of I-65 during a regular scheduled meeting on Monday, Dec. 11.

“Everything is expected to be under construction in 2025—meaning we think it will all be completed sometime in 2027, maybe late 2027,” County Engineer David Willingham said.

County Manager Chad Scroggins expressed his gratitude to the commission for helping expedite the project.

“It was on the MPO’s (Metropolitan Planning Organization) Transportation Improvement Program for 2045, which would have then been designed and bid and everything in 2045,” he said. “So, to say that you all have sped that up would be a very accurate statement.”

The current proposed schedule is divided into three segments with the north and south segment starting development in fall 2024 and the middle segment scheduled for spring 2025. The north segment goes from the 238 interchange in Alabaster down to just north of the Shelby West Corporate Park and 234 interchange. The middle segment is comprised of the airport interchange and the south segments leads down to Exit 231 in Calera.

The $300 million widening of I-65 was first announced back in August by Gov. Kay Ivey as part of the Rebuild Alabama effort.

The widening project includes six bridges over rail tracks and two bridges over County Road 26 with 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.

“We’re working with Calera and Alabaster,” Willingham said. “We’ll split our 20 million combined commitment—we’ll split that between the three projects and so that’s still being worked out.”

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.