Better roads mean business for Black Belt

Published 9:20 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Transportation is the pulse of economic development and tourism. Here in the Black Belt, especially Selma and Dallas County, transportation means increased tourism and jobs.

But being a part of the Black Belt, where money is short and unemployment is high, Selma and Dallas County need a financial lift when it comes to intensive infrastructure projects.

It is in the best interest of all who live and work in this area to vote in favor of Amendment 3 on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

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The measure comes out of Alabama Senate Bill 121, which would provide for a 10-year road, bridge and other transportation-related construction and improvement program.

Amendment 3 would see $100 million allocated each year for a decade for the maintenance and upkeep of roads.

The Dallas County Commission has endorsed the amendment. Dallas County needs to repair some road and bridges, which could become dangerous. But the county does not have the local funds for those repairs.

If Amendment 3 passed and the county began repairing those roads, the work would mean jobs — an estimated 27,000 statewide, according to Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard — in an state with double-digit unemployment.

Improved roads mean a better quality of life and the ability to preserve industry and attract new industry in addition to providing new and improved thoroughfares for tourists to travel.

Amendment 3 is a lifeline for areas such as ours, the reason the Times-Journal gives its endorsement.