By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Gov. Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) officials announced last week that Atmore would get a piece of the $40 million state funding pie that is being served up for various road and bridge projects across Alabama.
According to figures released by the governor’s office, Atmore was awarded $386,000 to improve the intersection of Alabama 21 and Poarch Road East, which will be built to accommodate the new urgent care facility and hospital that will be built on 21’s eastern side.
The work includes addition of a right turn lane to the highway’s northern traffic lanes, addition of a left turn lane to the southern traffic lanes and modification of the existing traffic signal at the intersection.
Mayor Jim Staff said the best part of the latest round of ATRIP II funding is that no matching local funds will be required. Also, the new funds will more than double the investment in the intersection.
“The first ATRIP money — $340,000 — was approved, but we had to put up $60,000 of our own money,” said Staff. “Then they (ALDOT) discovered that the intersection was too close to (I-65), so this money brings it up to date, brings that intersection up to superhighway standards.”
The funding is through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program-II (ATRIP-II), created as part of the Rebuild Alabama Act, which requires that ALDOT set aside a minimum of $30 million of its share of new gas tax revenue each year for projects of local interest on the state highway system.
“While our work is far from over, we have made significant progress in improving our roads and bridges thanks to Rebuild Alabama,” Ivey said. “During my state of the state address, I shared that on top of local improvements, the state has administered projects in almost all 67 counties, and I am thrilled to be announcing additional awards … ”
There were 32 projects selected to share the $40.31 million in 2022 state transportation funding. Of those projects, 17 were from cities and counties that put up a collective $11.89 million in local funds.
The state has now awarded more than $100 million in state transportation funds under ATRIP-II since the program’s creation in 2019.
The projects were selected by the ATRIP-II Committee, which was created by the Rebuild Alabama Act. ALDOT officials anticipate that a number of projects will be under contract during the 2022 fiscal year. All ATRIP-II projects are required to move forward within two years of the funds being awarded.