Commission approves applicatoin for additional ATRIP funding

Published 10:03pm Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dilapidated roads throughout the county may soon have hope of being repaved as the Dallas County Commission voted to approve the application for Round 3 of ATRIP funding during Monday’s commission meeting.

ATRIP is the Alabama Department of Transportation’s statewide program to make funds available for counties like Dallas County to be able to improve existing paved roads.

There are $10 million available funds for the city of Selma and Dallas County combined, and the commission applied for more than $8 million in projects Monday.

Tentative county roads on the proposed application include Dallas County Roads 45, 33, 31, 7, 85 and 1.

County Commissioner Roy Moore expressed concern that none of the roads for the proposed ATRIP project fall in his district.

Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard explained there is a specific standards the roads must meet in order to be eligible for ATRIP funding.

“You can’t use [ATRIP funds] to turn a dirt road into a paved road, it has to be an existing paved road,” Ballard said.

“The road has to meet ALDOT standards from a construction standpoint. The road also has to have the designation of being a major collector.”

Ballard said a major collector is either a road that feeds into a thoroughfare, which in Selma includes Alabama Highways 22, 14, 41.

“Those are all state roads. A major collector is a county road that feeds into these roads,” he said, adding the amount of traffic on those roads is taken into account.

“Part of the discussion here this evening is we’ve got a few roads that are in deplorable shape, but they are remote and basically dead end into somewhere and never run into [Alabama Highways] 22, 14 or 41, or some major state highway,” Ballard said. “The road must qualify. It’s a huge criterion that has to be met, and we spent hours looking at every road in Dallas County to see what the major collectors were and which ones needed the attention.”

The dollar amount that’s available for Dallas County and the city of Selma is approximately $10 million and requires a 20 percent match.

Dallas County Engineer Coosa Jones told the commission when the application is submitted, “We have to make some kind of statement saying whether we can match the funds, and where those matching funds are coming from.”

Ballard said the county is prepared to make that match.

“That’s a lot of money — 20 percent of $10 million,” Ballard said. “Even if we, the county are awarded the entire $10 million, we’re prepared to do the match.”

The estimated approval for ATRIP funding is set for the end of the summer.

“It’s possible that some of [these projects] could be started this year,” Ballard said.

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