Gordo Bypass in the works to improve Highway 82 traffic

The 6.2-mile Gordo Bypass has been an ongoing project for the Alabama Department of Transportation for a few years now.

GORDO, Ala. (WCBI) – The 6.2-mile Gordo Bypass has been an ongoing project for the Alabama Department of Transportation for a few years now.

ALDOT Public Information Officer John McWilliams says the project has two phases. The first half, the grade and drain phase, started in 2017 and finished in 2023. Now it’s time for the base and pave phase which is expected to go to bid this year.

Once it starts, it’s expected to take another 2-3 years, depending on weather conditions.

McWilliams says the project will improve safety, mobility, and commerce for motorists in West Alabama. Once finished, US-82 will feature four lanes from the Mississippi state line to Tuscaloosa.

Mayor Craig Patterson of Gordo says this project has been talked about since the 90s and much of that early talk was negative.

“Some didn’t like it. People didn’t like where it was,” Patterson said.

Patterson says this project is a positive addition to the town, especially the economy.

“I believe that it will draw businesses,” Patterson said. “We can offer them services to apply to come into the city if their property is not in the city, and it will help the rest of the county because it would give them an easier way, and even open up other properties to be developed because of the better highways. ”

Cameron Sanders lives near the bypass route in Gordo.

He sees a couple of possibilities coming in on the new road. For one thing, improved accessibility, and then there’s also a chance for the city to grow.

“Growth opportunities from a new business standpoint coming on that road, growth opportunity from potential new developments from a domestic housing standpoint, things that can really help build a robust and sustainable community.”

Mayor Patterson says there are about 12-thousand cars that come through Gordo, and a four-lane could double that as well as improve safety.

“We always talk about going into rural areas, people worry about slow-moving vehicles, that kind of thing, you’ve got more lanes, you’ve got passing lanes, so it makes it safer all the way around.”

The base and pave portion of the project is expected to cost around 63 million dollars.

McWilliams says the project will increase the capacity of Highway 82 and decrease heavy truck traffic through the center of town.

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