MADISON COUNTY, Ala, (WHNT) — The Alabama Department of Public Transportation (ALDOT) is moving forward on plans to expand U.S. 72/University Boulevard in Madison County.

The project in the works would add lanes on 72 West from Providence Main Street out to County Line Road. However, the work will be done in phases.

ALDOT Spokesperson Seth Burkett told News 19 the first phase will focus on replacing the bridges over Indian Creek, just west of Providence Main Street.

Bridge over Indian Creek that will need to be replaced when U.S. 72 is widened.

Burkett said ALDOT hopes to get started on phase one in the next fiscal year.

However the timeline for the rest of the project is not yet set. The ALDOT website lists the predicted start date for part of the project as fiscal year 2025.

Burkett said it is good to finally see some movement on the widening project, as it has been in the works for years.

“We’re very glad to have the opportunity to finally advance this project and begin addressing these capacity needs that have built up,” he told News 19.

Burkett said the 2020 figures have more than 40,000 cars passing over the bridges near Providence Main Street each day. He also said it’s likely with the growth in Madison County that those numbers are even higher today.

The total cost of the widening project between County Line Road and Providence Main Street is estimated to be between $75 and $95 million dollars.

“That is certainly a substantial price tag, and like I said, in the past we simply did not have the level of funding to try and address this need” Burkett said.

On Monday evening, ALDOT held a public involvement meeting for the project at Discovery Middle School.

At the meeting they showed maps of the project, and answered questions from the community.

A map from ALDOT depicting part of Phase One of the U.S. 72/University Blvd widening project.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, but would like to submit a written comment, you still have time to do so. ALDOT is accepting written comments until June 16th. You can submit your comment online, by mail or email.

To send your comment online, click here.

If you send it via mail, send it to:

ALDOT, North Region – Guntersville Area

PO Box 550

Guntersville, Alabama 35976

ATTN: Troy Bell

If you would like to send your written comment via email, send it to:

ALDOT says it will review all submitted comments, before moving to the next phase of the planning of the project.