Mayor Sherman Guyton and Rep. Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) today announced that the Alabama Department of Transportation has agreed to resume work on the extension of Interstate 759 in Gadsden. The decision resulted from discussions with Gov. Robert Bentley and his staff during the past two years, Guyton and Ford said.
ALDOT has previously conducted engineering studies that sought to identify a route for extending I-759 from where it ends at George Wallace Drive to U.S. Highway 431. The extension would be approximately two miles long.
“A traffic study completed by ALDOT in 2015 showed a compelling need for establishing a link between I-759 and Highway 431,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “We look forward to the progression of this project that will be so important to the growth and economic development of the Gadsden area. I have asked Alabama Department of Transportation Director John Cooper to lead this effort and supervise the advancement of this project.”
The first step is for ALDOT to complete a detailed survey to select a proposed route. Surveyors will begin work in the very near future.
“After a route is determined, right-of-way acquisition will begin with relocation of utilities to follow,” Cooper said. “As with all of our work at this time, funding is an issue that will affect the timeline for how long it takes to develop plans and begin construction.”
Guyton and Ford welcomed the opportunity to continue working on a plan that would someday connect I-759 to Highway 431.
“We’re very grateful to Gov. Bentley for his willingness to consider Gadsden’s need for this vital connector,” Guyton said.
Added Rep. Ford, “For the past several months, Mayor Guyton and I have been working non-stop with Gov. Bentley and his staff to secure the $50 million in funding needed for the I-759 extension. If Etowah County were the heart, then this project would be the aorta of economic growth and public safety. Without a doubt, this is my proudest accomplishment as a legislator, and I am grateful to the people of Etowah County for allowing me to serve!”