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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Good news coming about Beltline, I-565 extension

When the state announced it is holding public hearings this week on extending Interstate 85 from Montgomery to near the Mississippi line, we thought of Beltline Road.

When the state also said it is speeding up work on U.S. 80, a four-lane road west of Demopolis, we thought of the extension of Interstate 565 from Mooresville to Decatur.

The state is also four-laning U.S. 43 between the Shoals area and Mobile in West Alabama.

But the state's not leaving us out, Gov. Bob Riley said Monday. The 3-year-old promise to get started on six-laning Beltline Road is about to be kept, he said.

The governor, speaking to the Rotary Club of Decatur, also said to look for progress on extending Interstate 565.

Hopefully, with a governor and Legislature to be elected next year, we will get definite timetables on Beltline and interstate work. The county badly needs both projects to relieve traffic congestion.

The state Transportation Department apparently was in no hurry to have plans ready to go once funding came through on the Beltline work. As a result, we apparently are at least another year away from construction, unless the governor chooses to speed up the process.

We've waited long enough on both. We eagerly look forward to details on major work on both projects.

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