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Byline: Greg Wright
Jul. 30--WASHINGTON -- Congress passed late Friday a long-awaited, $286 billion national highway bill that includes $100 million to study extending Interstate 85 from downtown Montgomery west to the Mississippi border.
The proposed four-lane I-85 extension would run 140 miles through Alabama's Black Belt, an economically struggling region originally named for the color of its rich soil. The extension would meet Interstate 59 near the small town of Cuba, state Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Harris said.
"The extension of Interstate 85 in this area will bring significant economic development and new opportunities to a …