Davis puts challenge to ALDOT on Hwy. 80 project

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 23, 2004

Staff Reports

Washington-Congressman Artur Davis (D-Birmingham) expressed his concern with the recently reported environmental hazards holding up the four-lane expansion of U.S. Highway 80 outside of Demopolis in a letter to Joe McInnis, Director of the Alabama Department of Transportation.

“U.S. 80 is the most significant east west transportation artery in West Alabama,” wrote Davis. “It’s completion as a four lane highway is absolutely critical to the economic future of many of the poor rural communities along its route, particularly Perry, Marengo, and Sumter counties.”

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Davis continued by referencing the continual delays and false starts which have denied many of the state’s most impoverished communities in West Alabama the ability to compete for and attract new high wage industries that depend upon a network of four lane and interstate quality highways to transport their goods and materials.

Noting his role in obtaining $14 million earmark for Highway 80 in the House Transportation bill, Davis expressed concern that the newly improved outlook for the highway will be darkened by yet another delay in the expansion project. He also requested a meeting with Mr. McInnis during August to resolve the issue.

Congressman Davis has made the improvement of Black Belt roads and highways a cornerstone of his economic development strategy.