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Finally: Roadway expansion could be game changer here

It has taken decades but the widening of U.S. Hwy. 43 from Tuscaloosa to Thomasville is about
to become reality.

The Governor announced the project would begin by year end in her state-of-the-state address.

Demopolis Mayor Woody Collins has called it a game-changer for the Jewel of the Black Belt.

The governor didn’t give an exact start date, but promised it would begin sometime this year.

This project will place Demopolis at the intersection of two major four-lanes, which should be really
good for business.

Alabama Department of Transportation officials say plans could be ready by fall, but also said that
the project will not follow Hwy. 43’s current route verbatim.

This is great news for Marengo County.

Major roadways exist as economic pulses in communities because they link the producers to markets
and jobs to workers, which betters the economic conditions in a community.

Having a solid transportation system is beneficial to all. It keeps jobs locally, allows businesses to expand and new industry to come to Marengo County. It also helps keep prices low for families in Marengo
County.

For local businesses, who need to transport goods and services, have a solid transportation system al-
lows them to save money on transportation costs.

A well-connected transportation network means faster, more reliable travel times for both people and
goods.

Transportation investments affect not only the level of economic output but geographic distribution of economic activity and can raise property values, particularly if these investments bring about improvements in local living standards, research
shows.

The effects don’t have to wait for the roads to be completed either. During major road projects, there is a need for construction workers, road crews, fuel is purchased locally for the heavy equipment, just to name a few. Workers even eat meals locally, in
turn, spend tax dollars. They also often utilize local hotels, which brings lodging tax money, too.

The latest unemployment data for Marengo County has the rate set at 4.2 percent with just 362 people
unemployed.

The new corridor could bring quality, high-paying jobs to the county, which could be life-changing for
some.

This is a big victory for Marengo County.