The road to success

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 9, 2003

Craig, South Dallas industrial Park get $2.5 million

By Alan Riquelmy / Selma Times – Journal

Craig Field and South Dallas Industrial Park are about to see $2.5 million in state funds roll their way and those funds will help shorten the distance to Montgomery and bring the area closer to getting a Hyundai supplier to locate here.

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The funds were distributed by the Alabama Industrial Access Road and Bridge Corp., a three-member board that approves the use of state money to improve access roads to new industries.

According to George Alford, business development specialist

for South Dallas Industrial Park, the money will be used to improve about two and a half miles of road.

Specifically, Alford said, a portion of County Road 145 will be widened and paved and two access roads will be built from each park connecting to 145.

Alford also said that an access road from 145 will run through South Dallas Industrial Park and connect with Highway 41.

Alford added that the road improvements will allow suppliers to the new Hyundai plant and other companies to reach Montgomery in 15 minutes less than it takes now. He added that the improvements will also provide four-lane access to I-65 via U.S. 80 in 40 minutes &045;&045; the same amount of time it will take to get to the Hyundai plant.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. said that the driving time and distance between the Hyundai plant and suppliers of the plant was critical. The new roads, Perkins added, will solve those time and distance concerns.

Menzo Driskell, Executive Director of Craig Field, estimated that once work begins it would hopefully be complete in a year’s time. However, Driskell added that before work can start, several steps in the process must first be completed including getting bids for the construction, among others.

Probate Judge Johnny Jones, head of the Dallas County Commission, said that during the summer of last year Governor Don Siegelman discussed the need of shortening the distance and time between the parks and Montgomery with the Selma/Dallas County Industrial Team. Some people involved in the discussion included Siegelman, Alabama Senator Hank Sanders, Jones, Perkins, Alford, and Wayne Vardaman, head of the Economic Development Authority.

Jones added that during negotiations with companies, time and distance to Montgomery were big factors.

The Selma/Dallas County Industrial Team, Jones added, came to the conclusion that building and improving the roads at Craig Field and South Dallas was essential in keeping the area competitive.

Jones said that Siegelman agreed with their opinion and said he’d support it.