In a release from the County Commission office, the county announced that it received $831,200 from the state as part of the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, the largest road and bridge improvement program in Alabama’s history.
The funding will go toward resurfacing and safety improvements for 4.9 miles of St. Clair 26, west of Day Drive to Alabama 144, between Ragland and Ashville. The estimated total cost of the project is $1,039,000.00, and the county will furnish the remaining 20 percent of the funding.
“These highways have to be built to federal highway standards,” said County Commission Chairman Stan Batemon. “They will be upgraded a pretty good bit. If it needs guardrails, striping, any of that – it will require a good bit. We’re very glad to get these opportunities to get those routes.”
County engineer Dan Dahlke said the county submitted multiple roads in need of work, but was only approved for St. Clair 26.
“You have to write up a justification, and it’s a competitive program down there,” Dahlke said. “I guess they just felt that was the most competitive one we had.”
Dahlke said the project includes resurfacing and guardrail work for the road. Thursday’s announcement was the first release of a federal bond issue that will range from $800 million to $1 billion.
“From large cities to rural areas, the people of this state deserve reliable, safe roads and bridges,” Bentley said. “School buses should not have to be detoured around substandard bridges. Communities need help improving roads that are currently over capacity or in need of various safety improvements.
“As we improve our infrastructure, we will improve the business climate in the state and make Alabama more attractive to businesses seeking to locate here and bring additional jobs.”
Funding for ATRIP comes through the use of GARVEE bonds. GARVEE is the term commonly used to describe the Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles Bond Program.
Dahlke said he expects to let the project for bid this fall.
“We should have the plans by September-October, so you should see this going to bid somewhere in December,” he said.
Batemon said more projects will likely receive ATRIP funding later in 2012.
“(Dahlke) has several that will qualify over the next two years,” Batemon said. “They’ve got to meet federal highway standards, and that means width of shoulder, striping and so forth.”
Contact Will Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.