ATRIP funds committed to Lowndes roads

Published 10:02 pm Wednesday, June 6, 2012

By Fred Guarino

The Selma Times-Journal


“More than pleased,” was Lowndes County Commission Chairman Robert Harris’ response to Gov. Robert Bentley’s announcement of 105 road and bridge grants across the state on Thursday, including more than $562,000 for a Lowndes County project.

Lowndes County received $562,440.80 in grants for resurfacing County Road 54 (Old Selma Highway) from County Road 40 to the Montgomery city limits.

The road is in Harris’ district.

“It was needed pretty badly because we had a low score (from the state) on that road,” Harris said. He said it would also enhance travel to SABIC Innovative Plastics and from different industries to Montgomery.

The county will match the grant with $140,610.20 for a total cost of $703,051.

“We’re trying to do in-kind, but we’re probably going to have to do a dollar match,” Harris said of a required local match in funds for the project. “But we’re trying to work out some other ways of matching that money,” he said.

Lowndes County Engineer David Butts said at the time the county applied for the grant, the 20 percent matching funds for the projects did not have to come entirely from public funds but could include industry/private sector funds.

Lowndes County applied for 10 sites. “We got one out of the 10, but the other nine will be rolled over,” Butts said. “They’ve got another consideration coming up in October. So all nine will be considered for that.”

Butts said what doesn’t make the cut in October will be submitted for March of 2013.

“The road was in bad shape,” he said, of County Road 54. “I think it scored like in the low 70s (74-75) in our annual routine maintenance grade. When it gets around about 70 they ask you to do something to the road… If not they will freeze your (federal) money.”

He said the project would be to patch, level and resurface the road over a distance of 5.5 miles.

Other roads the county submitted for the funding include: County Road 79; County Road 75; County Road 63; County Road 12: from Dallas County Line to Middleton Cut-off Road; County Road 12: from County Road 9 to intersection of County Road 17; County Road 12: from County Road 17 to the intersection of Alabama Highway 21; County Road 23; County Road 37: from U.S. Highway 80 to the intersection of County Road 54; and Fredrick Douglas Road.

The funding came through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, or ATRIP, in its first round of grants.