$5.5M in road projects get green light
by James Phillips
Feb 06, 2013 | 2766 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jasper Mayor Sonny Posey announced Tuesday the city had been awarded more than $5 million in funds that will be used on three separate road improvement projects.

The funds, which are being released through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP), will allow for resurfacing projects on Airport Road, Old Birmingham Highway and 9th Avenue.

“This is big news for us,” Posey said. “We’ve lobbied and begged for this funding. We’ve visited the ALDOT (Alabama Department of Transportation) headquarters numerous times. We put in a lot of work on this, and we are thankful these funds have been approved for us.”

Keith Strickland, municipal department manager for Goodwyn-Mills-Cawood, spoke to members of the Jasper City Council Tuesday about the ATRIP funds.

“This is excellent, excellent news for the City of Jasper,” Strickland said.

The 9th Avenue project will resurface that street from Highway 5 to 18th Street in downtown Jasper. The total coast of the project will be $327,762. Strickland said the project could be finished before the end of the year.

The Old Birmingham Highway project will resurface that roadway and total funding will be $729,656. Strickland said the resurfacing effort could be finished by the end of the year.

Strickland said the Airport Road project is something city officials have been working on for years. He said money had been previously earmarked for Airport Road, but the earmark for the second phase of that roadway was lost late last year.

“The money for Phase 1 —which is the (Highway) 78 intersection — is still good and will hopefully let this year,” Strickland said. “Last year, the state pulled earmarks if the project had not reached a certain level. We were allowed to submit Airport Road Phase 2 as an ATRIP project, and we went for everything. This will be a three-lane road at least through Ridgewood with all the turning lanes and intersections. It is a magnificent project.”

The Airport Road Phase 2 project’s total funding will be $4,458,958.25. Strickland said the Airport Road project will not begin until 2014.

Jasper also received ATRIP funding for Walston Bridge Road in 2012. That project is in its design stage, but Strickland said he expected resurfacing would begin by the summer.

“On Walston Bridge Road, we’ve had to make several changes,” Strickland said. “Those changes will have to be approved by ALDOT before we move forward.”

Strickland said he expects the total funding on the Walston Bridge project to be around $2.5 million.

All ATRIP projects are funded 80 percent by the state and 20 percent by the local government.

Another round of ATRIP funding is expected later this year. Strickland said the deadline to enter projects is May.

“I have a feeling this will be the last round,” he told council members. “I encourage you to put together a good list and go after some more funding and take advantage of the 80 percent.”

Jasper Public Works Director Joe Matthews said 3rd Avenue and Viking Drive are two possible projects being considered for the next round of ATRIP funding.

“We are trying to take care of our main roads,” he said. “If we can get all of them done, we can then start working on the other areas of the city. This funding could allow us to have all our roads resurfaced in the next four to five years.”