The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 24, 2013

Limestone receives $9.3 million for road, bridge improvements

From staff, wire reports
The News Courier

— Limestone County will receive more than $9.3 million in funding as part of the third round of Gov. Robert Bentley’s Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, or ATRIP.

The new allocation announced Wednesday brings Limestone’s total ATRIP allocation to more than $14 million over the three announced phases.

Before Wednesday’s announcement, 693 road and bridge improvement projects had already been approved under previous phases of ATRIP funding. Wednesday’s Phase III funding announcement will now pave the way for additional projects in all 45 counties receiving Phase III allocations.

Neighboring Madison County is set to receive $50 million, bringing its total allocation to $82.7 million. Morgan County will receive $6.7 million, bringing its total allocation to $20 million.

The ATRIP program involves the state selling bonds that will be paid off with future highway dollars from the federal government. Then the state puts up 80 percent of the cost of a project, and a city or county provides the remaining 20 percent.

“ATRIP is making a difference in every county across the state by allowing much-needed road and bridge improvement projects to move forward,” Bentley said.  “As we make these improvements, we’re improving public safety, and we’re also helping attract more jobs. When companies look for places to build and expand and hire more people, they look for places that have good roads and bridges.  Our roads and bridges will be much safer thanks to this program, and our communities will be in a better position to recruit more jobs.”

Limestone County engineer Richard Sanders said the county’s funding requests in the third round had been met. Some of the projects in the county’s proposal included bridge replacements on Grigsby Ferry Road and Liberty Lane and improvements to the intersection of East Limestone and Capshaw roads.

The city of Athens, which was also included in the county allocation, requested funds to replace the Swan Creek Bridge and Swan Creek Relief Channel Bridge and to widen and resurface Forrest Street from U.S. 31 to Lindsay Lane.

Other projects included the resurfacing of Houston Street from Brownsferry Street to U.S. 72 and the resurfacing of Nick Davis Road from Lindsay Lane to Mooresville Road, the latter of which would be a joint project with Limestone County.