Officials report progress on ATRIP road projects



special from the Blount County Commission

ATRIP, the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, is making a $14.3 million impact in Blount County, and significant progress has already been made on 10 road projects throughout the area, said Blount County Commission Chairman Chris Green at a news conference Friday.

“We want everyone in Blount County to understand the profound impact of ATRIP on our area and on your ability to get to school and work. These improvements will immediately benefit our citizens and our economy, and I’d like to personally thank Gov. Robert Bentley for this wise investment in our local transportation system,” Green said.

The Blount County news conference was part of a series of ATRIP status reports organized by counties throughout the state.

Gov. Bentley established ATRIP in 2012 to help local government fund necessary road and bridge improvements. The program, funded by bonds that will be paid with future federal dollars, requires local governments to put up minimum match funding of 20 percent. For counties unable to meet the match requirement, a companion program called the Rural Assistance Match Program (RAMP) was created. RAMP ensured that ATRIP would benefit all 67 counties across the state.

“ATRIP is making a difference in every county across Alabama by allowing much-needed road and bridge improvement projects to move forward,” the Governor said. “We’re improving public safety, and we’re 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.”

With the projects announced in the October ATRIP status reports, an estimated $966 million is being invested in more than 1000 local transportation infrastructure projects. ATRIP, administered by the Alabama Department of Transportation, is expected to generate more than 15,000 jobs.

Editor’s note: The list of Blount County ATRIP repaving projects, totaling about 70 miles, includes all or substantial parts of the following roads: county roads 27 (9.2 miles), 8 (4.6 miles), 29 (1.9 miles), 26 (19.2 miles), 5 (11.7 miles), 17 (3.1 miles), 15 (5.7 miles), 35 (4.6 miles), 47 (7.6 miles), and 55 (2.7 miles). Preliminary work such as guardrail installation and culvert replacement where necessary is scheduled to begin on county road 27 this fall with repaving to begin in the spring. Work is expected to begin on county roads 29 and 26 early- to mid-2014, with improvement work and repaving on remaining projects to take place over the next three years.