By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, June 20, 2016, in the Fultondale area officials finally held the ribbon cutting to open the I-22 interchange with I-65. The Alabama Department of Transportation has worked on the final phase of the connector since 2010. Construction began on the first phase in Alabama in 1984. Construction began in Mississippi in 1978.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) said “This road provides a major traveling route through some rural areas of Alabama that until now have not had a major interstate within miles. One of the great benefits of this project is the economic development opportunities it will provide to some of these rural areas, particularly those in Marion and Walker counties and parts of Jefferson County that have been previously inaccessible to major industries.”
Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) said in a statement, “Today marked the official opening of the I-22 interchange in Jefferson County. I was pleased to speak and participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony along with numerous local, state, and federal officials, including Governor Robert Bentley, Congressman Robert Aderholt, and former Congressman Spencer Bachus, who was a long-time champion of the project. The 98 mile I-22 route connects Birmingham and Memphis, and will provide many economic benefits to the region.”
Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) said, “Interstate 22 is now officially open. This project was first talked about in the 1950s to connect Birmingham with Memphis. It has been an honor to play a role in this project over the years. It is already having economic benefits to Walker and Marion counties.”
State Representative Tim Wadsworth said on social media, “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – I-22 (formerly known as “Corridor X”) is officially open. 219 miles from Birmingham to Memphis and 98 miles from Birmingham to Mississippi Line. I-22 travels through the 14th District located in Jefferson County and in Walker and Marion Counties.”
The Governor’s office said in a statement that ALDOT was building the highway through some of the roughest terrain in the state. The now complete roadway will provide access for rural Marion, Walker and Jefferson counties, and should be a boom to economic development in these areas.
The project cost over a $billion to complete. While the main interchange is complete there is still work being done.