Road projects get go-ahead

Published 11:12 pm Monday, June 4, 2012

Funding from the state of Alabama, combined with matching funds from the city of Selma, will pay for the resurfacing of Old Cahaba Road from King Street to Old Marion Junction Road. -- Tim Reeves

Two much needed road projects in Selma and Dallas County received a big infusion of funds last week.

On Thursday, Gov. Robert Bentley announced funding for 105 road and bridge improvement projects that will now be able to move forward as part of the first round of funding for ATRIP — the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program.

According to a release from Bentley’s office, ATRIP is the largest road and bridge improvement program in Alabama’s history. The improvements are designed to enhance safety and quality of life for people in communities across the state. Further, the transportation projects will also serve as an economic development tool.

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“From large cities to rural areas, the people of this state deserve reliable, safe roads and bridges,” Bentley said in the announcement. “School buses should not have to be detoured around substandard bridges. Communities need help improving roads that are currently over capacity or in need of various safety improvements.”

In Selma, residents and businesses along J.L. Chestnut Boulevard and Old Cahaba Road, from King Street to the Old Marion Junction Road and those on Medical Center Parkway, from Old Cahaba Road to U.S. Highway 80, should see resurfacing work begin in the coming weeks.

That project, which the city applied for, received $479,636 in the ATRIP funding. The city of Selma will have to match the ATRIP funds, with an additional $119,909. Overall, the project is projected to cost $599,545.

As for Dallas County, Probate Judge Kim Ballard announced the county had received funding for the ongoing resurfacing work on Dallas County Road 80. The county received $254,366.40 in ATRIP funding, which must be matched by $61,341.60 in county funds.

Perry County received funding for a bridge replacement project that will replace the bridge on Perry County Road 4 over Rice Creek.

There were applications representing 64 of Alabama’s 67 counties, with at least one project from 61 counties approved in the first phase of funding. Every eligible applicant received at least one project. At least two additional rounds of funding are planned, one in fall 2012 and one in spring 2013. Projects not selected in the initial phase of funding are eligible for submission during the second and third phases.

Projects approved in ATRIP’s first phase of funding range from rural to urban and include resurfacing, additional lanes, intersection upgrades, and 36 local bridge replacements. The 105 projects announced Thursday represent $138.5 million in funding during the initial round of ATRIP.