UA Board of Trustees discusses building railroad overpasses near 15th Street

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The University of Alabama Board of Trustees is considering building a new overpass on campus.

The Board met Thursday afternoon to discuss the project. The proposed $14 million overpass would provide a bridge over the railroad tracks south of campus, and include two lanes of traffic, bicycle lanes, sidewalks and lighting.

Ryan Blaney, a junior at Alabama, says having an overpass would improve safety for students.  Blaney told CBS42 News that he walks across the railroad tracks often to get to campus.

“Yeah I think an overpass would be a great idea,” Blaney said. “When we go to cross the railroad, sometimes the train will stop which causes us to be delayed going to class. I’ve actually seen some kids try to hop between the train while it’s stopped on the tracks because they are running late to class which I think is super dangerous.”

The project would connect 2nd Avenue with Lancaster Road in addition to another connector between Paul Bryant Drive and 15th Street.

Tim Leopard is UA’s Vice President for Construction. He believes that this will only help alleviate some of the struggles for community  members that are used to being stuck in traffic

“Not only will this allow vehicles to pass over the railroads but it will also allow bicycles and pedestrians [to do so],” Leopard said. “There will be a bicycle pedestrian path, and it’s a real challenge for us and our students to access class. So vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians will be able to cross at this grade.”

UA officials say construction could begin in 2018, and would take three years to build.

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