Road, bridge repair funds possible

Council approves gas-tax projects list

News Staff Writer

Atmore City Council members gave unanimous approval to two measures in preparation for receiving future funding from two separate road and bridge repair and improvement initiatives.
Councilors adopted a transportation plan that will allow them to apply for the next round of funding from the Rebuild Alabama Act and authorized the city’s engineering firm, Civil Southeast, to make application to the Alabama Department of Transportation for funding under the second round of the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP).
Mayor Jim Staff explained that the transportation plan was in anticipation of the state’s allocation of the new gas tax that will go into effect September 1.
“This is the gasoline tax the state has added,” he said. “We’ve got to have some projects listed or they won’t share the money with us, so we’ve made a list for that.”
The plan includes several drainage projects to help keep water from accumulating during heavy rains.
It would include removal of existing culverts on South Presley Street, near David’s Catfish House, and replacement of them with higher-flow culverts to prevent flooding of that area. It also includes either installation of a larger drainage box near the intersection of Craig and Beck streets or modification of street slopes at the Craig Street and First Avenue intersection.
The plan also includes resurfacing of approximately 1,250 feet of either East Horner Street or West Horner Street or, as needed, on both streets; resurfacing of Maple Street, the short street between Jack Springs Road and the Escambia County School Bus Shop.
The other plan components are addressing of a drainage issue at the intersection of North Main and Ridgeley streets, as well as replacement of a washed-out bridge structure on Industrial Drive.
The second measure makes the city eligible for further ATRIP funding, once more funds are allocated. The program is designed to rehabilitate and improve transportation infrastructure by funding local critical-need projects that are related to the state-maintained highway system.
“This is just getting ahead of the game,” Staff said. “It makes us eligible to apply when ATRIP II funding becomes available.”
In other business, the council:
* Tabled two tax abatement requests (see separate story, this edition).
* Issued a proclamation in support of the 2020 Census, including formation of a “complete count committee (see separate story, this edition).
* Approved demolition of a fire-damaged house, labeled a “substandard structure,” at 1126 South Presley Street.