Officials share status of ATRIP projects
Elected officials from across Franklin County were quick to praise one another last week.
Members of the Franklin County Commission and representatives from each town’s city council met for a status report on the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, which will allow more than $14 million in road repairs to be completed over the next two to three years.
Franklin County will receive $14,811,620, with $11,849,296 in federal money and $2,962,324 of local dollars.
The project list includes work on 25 roads and 10 bridge projects.
Work is complete on first-round projects that include resurfacing, reclamation, striping and shoulders on approximately seven miles of Gravel Hill Road and eight miles of County Road 16. Plans for bridge replacement and resurfacing on Franklin 22 are 85 percent complete and should let to contract in April.
In all, 118 miles of county roads will be repaired thanks to the ATRIP funding.
“At the current level of available revenue, it would take us 30 years to complete all of the projects that we will now be doing over the next 3-4 years,” said county engineer David Palmer.
Palmer said roads and bridges that serve more than 55,000 motorists a day will be impacted.
“We want everyone in Franklin County to understand the profound impact of ATRIP on our area and your ability to get to school and work,” Probate Judge Barry Moore said.
Palmer called the program “historic.”
“These improvements will immediately benefit our citizens and our economy,” he said.
“This program will have an historic and important impact on the people in the state of Alabama,” Palmer said. “We all understand the importance of urban roads and the interstate, but there comes a time when you have to fix the roads getting to the interstate.”
The Franklin County status report meeting was part of a series of such ATRIP meetings held across the state last week.
ATRIP was established in 2012 to help local governments fund necessary road and bridge projects. Bonds that will be paid with future federal dollars fund the program.
“I want to commend Gov. Bentley and the decision to borrow money from the future that creates jobs for today,” State Sen. Roger Bedford said.
“This is an innovative way to float money for today. Here in Franklin County, every city, every commissioner stepped up and provided positive leadership to make this possible.”
In a release, Bentley said the program will not only benefit local areas now, but he sees it as a major step in economic development.
“ATRIP is making a difference in every county across Alabama by allowing much needed road and bridge improvement projects to move forward,” he said.
“We’re improving public safety and we are 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.”
Municipalities in the county are also overseeing several ATRIP projects.
Work is complete on the resurfacing and traffic striping of Jackson Avenue in Russellville. Other projects will include additional turn lanes into the Vina Industrial Park, bridge repairs and resurfacing on Golden Road in Red Bay, constructing turn lanes into the Rock Bridge Canyon Equestrian Park in Hodges and resurfacing Franklin 81 in Phil Campbell.