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Ainsworth: ‘Not enough’ progress being made on expanding I-65

Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth says there has been some progress made in the effort to expand Interstate 65 to three lanes across the Yellowhammer State, but admits more needs to be done.

Ainsworth has been leading the call to add more lanes to one of the state’s busiest roads and is known for posting on social media when he gets stuck in traffic on the highway.

The lieutenant governor recently discussed the idea on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program.”

“There’s been some, not enough,” Ainsworth said about the progress being made. “They are starting to in several areas add additional lanes on 65, and we’re going to continue to push and continue to put pressure on ALDOT and get this done and make this a reality. Because at the end of the day this is the number one project in the state that needs to be done.”

Ainsworth said he doesn’t understand some of the criticism he’s faced over the issue.

“There are some people that say, ‘Oh additional lanes don’t help.’ And I mean this with all respect, but those people are just stupid when they say that,” he said. “That’s insane. If that were the case, why don’t we just have one lane everywhere? Additional lanes [are] the most common sense thing, and it works.”

He also talked about his experience of constantly being stuck in traffic on the interstate.

“I drive up and down 65 all the time and where there’s three lanes, even if you have a wreck, now you at least have one or two lanes that are still open,” he said. “And so it’s our main artery of commerce. It’s our main artery to get people to the coast. It’s the main artery for people coming into Huntsville that’s the fastest growing city and one of the top cities in the U.S. for people to live in. We have to fix this.”

Ainsworth believes that the federal government will help with the project in the near future.

“I’m not going to shut up on that issue until it gets done,” he said. “I’m hoping that when President Trump gets in, he’s already committed to help that, if he gets in that’s going to be like putting diesel in a fire. It’s going to just roar. And I think we can really get the federal resources plus make sure we prioritize state funding. But there is some progress being made, but not enough, but we’re going to keep pushing on it.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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