County road 27 to be repaved as county’s first ATRIP project

County road 27, one of the county’s busiest roads and part of the main route connecting Oneonta and Springville, has been chosen as the county’s first largescale repaving project, using state funds as part of the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement (ATRIP) program. ATRIP is a state-administered federal aid highway program that funds up to 80 percent of the construction costs of important roadway projects.

County road 27 is a 9.17-mile segment running from Highland Super Stop at the intersection of county roads 29 and 27 south to the St. Clair County line, a short distance from Springville. The total cost of the project is estimated at roughly $1,988,000, with the county providing 20 percent of the total, or $397,603.

“This is huge for District 3 to get this money, because of the number of people who use county 27 to commute,” said District 3 Commissioner Dean Calvert. Calvert said the road is one of the most heavily traveled in the county, with about 3000 vehicles a day using it.

“If we can get Sugarland Lakes taken care of using Community Development Block Grant money and county 27 using ATRIP funds – along with other things we’re working on – we will have made some real strides rehabilitating our trouble areas in District 3,” Calvert said.

“At nearly $2 million, it would have taken me five years to accumulate enough money to do this project using only district road funds,” he said, “and that’s not doing anything else. You’ve got to take advantage of these funds when they become available, and use them according to whatever they’re provided for – like the CDBG funds for Sugarland Lakes that had a low average area income requirement to qualify.”

While the timing for release of ATRIP funds is not known at this stage of the game, Calvert said he hopes the project will begin some time in 2013, perhaps as early as the spring of the year.

County engineer Winston Sitton, serving his second day on the job, said that this is the first of two ATRIP submission cycles this year. The next will occur in October, when the county can submit other projects for consideration. Two projects, county road 8 and county road 9, were submitted but not chosen in the first cycle, and will be automatically included in the next cycle, Sitton said.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced 105 ATRIP projects last Thursday, representing $138.5 million in road and bridge improvements. There was at least one project approved in 61 of Alabama’s 67 counties.