Skyland Boulevard growth expected with infrastructure upgrades

Stoney Sharp reports.

Kmart will soon join a list of stores that have closed on Tuscaloosa's Skyland Boulevard.

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama said the trend could reverse soon.

Two major infrastructure upgrades are expected to attract new development to the area.

ALDOT has proposed building a new I-20/59 bridge near the intersection of Skyland Boulevard and McFarland Boulevard. Plus, an elevated bridge is planned at Highway 69 and Skyland Boulevard.

"Developers are smart. They see all of the development along McFarland and 15th Street. Land prices are incredibly high. They say 'where are the other future growth areas and lets get it while the dirt is cheaper'," chamber president and CEO Jim Page explained.

Shoppers hope developers reinvest along the major thoroughfare.

"It's a lot of money to spend progress on this end of town but hopefully it will help," said Cindy Vieten of Tuscaloosa.

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