Four road projects in area OK’d by state

Published 10:45 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The state of Alabama announced Monday the approval of 302 additional road and bridge projects under the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program — four of those projects in the Selma and Dallas County area.

The ATRIP initiative began in March 2012 and since then more than 400 road and bridge projects have been announced by the governor’s office.

Dallas County was approved for the resurface of Dallas County Road 115 from County Road 988 to County Road 33; the resurface of a segment of County Road 45; and the resurface of a segment of County Road 7 from County Road 12, northward to 0.75 miles. The city of Selma was approved for a resurface along Water Avenue from Race Street to County Road 41, phase 1.

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“We’ve had the application in now for a couple of months,” Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard said Tuesday of the three ATRIP projects in the county. “We just found out today that they were approved and it’s great news. We were anticipating that they would be approved.”

Ballard said he noticed that almost every county in the state was approved for at least one project.

“I think we were very fortunate to get three in the county, and whatever the city got, it will certainly help out,” Ballard said.

The governor’s office said Monday in their announcement of the projects that only four counties in the state did not get approved for ATRIP projects. The latest projects are located in 44 counties across the state.  To date, 61 of Alabama’s 67 counties have received ATRIP funding for various road and bridge projects.

“Gov. [Robert] Bentley will soon announce details of a bill that will enable Alabama’s remaining six counties to participate in ATRIP,” a statement by Bentley’s office said. “Those counties are: Fayette, Hale, Lawrence, Marengo, Wilcox and Winston.  The governor’s legislative proposal, currently under development, also will allow several other counties to expand their previous participation.”

Ballard said that, like many of the other counties, Dallas would not have been able to fund these three projects without outside resources helping.

“We would not have had the resources to do them all on our own,” Ballard said. “We maybe could have done without outside funds for one project — but yes, this is a big relief to only have to pay 20 percent and [the state] pay 80 percent. It makes it a lot more doable.”

According to an official ATRIP list of all new projects, the cost of all three projects in Dallas County total to more than $1.7 million — With the 20 percent local match, it will cost the county a total of $352,286. The newest project in the city will cost a total of $1.2 million and cost the city of Selma $242,212 with the local match.

Ballard said the county has money set aside to pay for the projects from the gasoline tax fund.