Highway 80 gets $14 million

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The state Department of Transportation’s project to continue the expansion of Highway 80 into a four-lane highway recently received major support from the U.S. Government.

Last week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure

Committee approved Congressman Artur Davis’ request for $14 million towards the highway expansion.

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The funding was included in the highway trust fund transportation authorization bill.

Davis said there will now be discussion on the bill in a upcoming committee conference between the House and Senate. Davis added that it will be important to make sure the money stays specifically earmarked for the highway expansion.

By keeping the large amount of funds for only the Highway 80 project, it could help keep the roadway construction from stalling.

As one of the main transportation routes connecting Perry, Marengo, and Sumter Counties, Davis believes Highway 80 is vital to the economic development of West Alabama serving as the primary east-west corridor for the state.

Davis said the total expansion project is estimated to cost between $45 to $55 million.

The congressman said more funds could be expected from both state and federal governments.

He also plans to submit a request for additional money to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Davis said he believes the expansion of the roadway could eventually lead to more jobs for the Black Belt region.