ST. CLAIR COUNTY — Six more local road projects received state approval Monday as part of a billion-dollar statewide initiative.
The state announced approval for 302 additional road and bridge projects, the largest number of projects announced to date under the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program created by Gov. Robert Bentley. Among that list for St. Clair County:
• St. Clair 41 (Hardwick Road) resurfacing from Alabama 34 to U.S. 78.
• St. Clair 33 resurfacing from U.S. 231 to St. Clair 24.
• St. Clair 27 resurfacing from county line to Cook Springs Cutoff.
• St. Clair 54 resurfacing from Logan Martin Dam Road to U.S. 231.
• St. Clair 36 resurfacing from U.S. 11 to Alabama 23.
• Bridge over Logan Martin Lake on Rivercrest Drive.
The total amount of the work in the county comes to over $7.3 million, with over $1.5 million (20 percent) to be covered by the local government. County Commission Chairman Stan Batemon said the county is well equipped to handle its share.
“Right now, I don’t see us having to borrow any money for this,” Batemon said. “We can handle our total match.”
The county received approval for St. Clair 26 (the Ragland-Ashville highway) in the first round of the program, and Batemon said engineer Dan Dahlke would submit more projects for the next two rounds. The total amount of the work St. Clair County will request comes to $26 million, spread out over five years.
“We believe we can handle all this without borrowing money or increasing taxes,” he said.
Funding for ATRIP comes through the use of GARVEE bonds. With GARVEE bonds, Alabama is able to access future federal dollars to pay for road and bridge projects that are needed immediately.
The latest projects are located in 44 counties across the state. To date, 61 of Alabama’s 67 counties have received ATRIP funding for various road and bridge projects.
“Everyone benefits from ATRIP,” Bentley said. “We’re improving public safety by replacing old bridges and repairing and widening outdated roads.
“ATRIP also helps create jobs. When companies build new facilities, they look for areas with good roads and bridges. ATRIP is giving them what they need. The more companies that build and expand in Alabama, the more jobs we’re able to create.”
Batemon said the program has received unanimous approval from the Alabama Association of County Commissions as the largest statewide road project since the 1950s.
“It’s a very creative way to get work done in a partnership between counties and the Department of Transportation,” Batemon said.