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NACo > Research Center > County Research Connections > Posts > Alabama Counties Receive Funding for Roads and Bridges in Need
November 04
Alabama Counties Receive Funding for Roads and Bridges in Need

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Alabama counties are tackling the national problem of deteriorating roads, highways, and bridges through an innovative partnership with the state department of transportation that couples federal highway dollars and local matching funds.

The project known as the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program or ATRIP, began in early 2012 with local governments afforded the opportunity to compete for funding of projects emphasizing s​afety, economic development, congestion and the growing problem of bridges closed to school bus traffic. In the 18 months that have followed, three additional application cycles produced applications from every county, scores of cities and universities.

ATRIP was initiated by Governor Robert Bentley with the support of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama and the Association of County Engineers of Alabama.  Utilizing the so-called GARVEE bond program authorized in the federal transportation legislation, Alabama will issue bonds to cover 80 percent of the program cost and repay the bonds with future federal gasoline tax revenue.

To receive funding, counties and cities submitted applications to ALDOT.  A committee selected by the Governor analyzed each proposal and provided recommendations to Gov. Bentley.   Selected projects received funding for 80 percent through the bond process with the remaining costs provided by the sponsoring county or city.  In addition, ALDOT made available a state-funded Rural Assistance Match Program (RAMP) to provide matching funds for rural counties unable to meet the match requirements.  The 25 counties qualifying for this provision received $5 million in funding without being required to provide local match.

To highlight the impact of the program ad the final round of project announcements, the ACCA and Alabama's counties coordinated statewide press events in counties in every corner of the state.  Approximately 70 percent of the total project funds was awarded  to counties and the remaining 30 percent funded city and other local projects.  Some examples of selected projects include a project to replace a one-lane bridge with no rails within Limestone County, road resurfacing projects in Mobile County and a traffic signalization project on Chalkville Mountain Road in Jefferson County

Driving on roads in need of repair costs the state’s motorists $855 million a year and funding for roadway improvements alleviates this burden on Ala. drivers.  Also, funds from the program will help boost the state’s economy by creating jobs in construction and related fields.   In dealing with crumbling transportation infrastructure, programs like ATRIP prioritize projects and deliver accelerated funding for essential roadway improvements.​​

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