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Transportation improvements to be made in FC

By: Roger Bedford


It’s been a very busy and exciting time for Senate District 6. Recently, the State of Alabama rolled out its new Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) road-building program.

It will be a three-year program. I was pleased to work with Gov. Robert Bentley to get this program going and am glad that it is being implemented.

This program will help all of our counties, plus those across the state.

As a part of Phase One of the ATRIP program, around 105 road and bridge projects will be funded and carried out, which is incredibly important because we need to see that our county roads and bridges are kept in good shape.

I am pleased to announce that five projects have already been selected for funding under Phase One of the ATRIP program.

County Road 16 in Franklin County will be getting a full-depth reclamation by Force Account from CR-88 to US-43. Jackson Avenue will be getting resurfaced from Tuscaloosa Street to Cotaco Street, which is one of the more heavily traveled roads in the City of Russellville.

The City of Vina will add turn lanes on State Route 9 at Vina Industrial Park Road.

Our other counties and/or cities are submitting ATRIP project applications, and I hope that we obtain some funds for them soon. All of these projects require a local match of funds, but a vast majority of the money is coming from the State of Alabama.

I’m pleased to see these road improvements within our Senate District, and while there is still more to be done, every project helps.

In addition to these highway projects, I would like to make it known that the Alabama Department of Transportation will open bids for four highway projects on June 29. These projects will include:

Resurfacing and traffic stripping SR-243 from station 16+18 south of the Cedar Creek Bridge to station 65+32 at CR-44 in Franklin County.

Infrastructure improvements to the sidewalks along Wolf Road, Valley Road, Mary Lou Street, Paul Street, Brown Street, and Crest Road.

These projects are much needed, and I am looking forward to all the progress our senate district will be making with these updates.

I am also excited to announce that the Alabama Department of Economic Affairs (ADECA) has awarded funding to Bevill State Community College and Northwest Shoals Community College.

Bevill State received $373,003 through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to administer a youth program designed to direct out-of-school youth, ages 16-21, to promising career paths.

The program will serve WIA eligible youths in Walker, Fayette, Lamar, Marion, and Pickens counties. The program elements will include occupational skills training, work experience, mentoring, counseling, educational assistance, and other appropriate activities.

Bevill State also received a $2,286,742.00 Workforce Development Area Contract Award.

This grant will provide funding for administrative costs to continue to provide services to adult, youth and dislocated workers at Alabama Career Centers.

The Counties served: Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, St. Clair, Walker, and Winston.

Northwest Shoals Community College received $486,000 through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to provide intensive tutoring for out-of-schools youth, ages 16-21, in basic skills for GED attainment, guidance, and assistance in preparation for postsecondary opportunities.

The program will partner with existing community agencies in the area to provide academic, life skills training, leadership and job development. This program will serve youth in Colbert, Franklin, Lawrence, Lauderdale, Marion and Winston counties.

These funds are essential, as workforce development is crucial to the success and continued growth of our citizens and businesses.

I would like to commend and thank Dr. Anne McNutt, President of Bevill State Community College, and Dr. Humphrey Lee, President of Northwest Shoals Community College, for their dedication in continuing education and skills development to better our community.

I would like to also thank the Mayors, Commissioners, and local officials, as well as the Governor, ADECA Director Jim Byard, and the members of the Legislature for your hard work in obtaining these funds that will improve the quality of life for the citizens of north Alabama.

This week, I was thankful to have had the opportunity to travel around the district to Fayette, Lamar, and Colbert counties, and visit with a few groups of hardworking, great men and woman.

These fine folks regularly put their lives on the line for their communities, and it was my honor to present checks to their volunteer fire departments.

We were able to deliver checks to Fayette, Lamar and Colbert counties with the other county checks to be presented in the upcoming months. While they deserve so much more than the amounts presented to them, I was grateful to have the funds appropriated for them.

I am proud of all that we have accomplished in our community, but there is still more hard work to be done. I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy time with your families outside in this beautiful weather.

As always, if I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to give me a call.


Roger Bedford is a state senator for Franklin County.