The Alabama Department of Transportation’s (ALDOT) four-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) includes three significant projects in Blount County. STIP is a federally-mandated funding and scheduling document for surface transportation projects including highways, trails, bridges, and transit projects. The projects are as follows:
• Intersection improvements on Ala 160 at the I-65 interchange ramp and at the U.S. 31/Ala 160 intersection in West Blount County. The project includes securing rights-of-way, relocating utilities, and constructing intersection improvements. Cost of the project is estimated at $7.37 million, with construction scheduled for 2020. Length of roadway affected is 1.5 miles.
• Replacement of culvert and approaches over a headwater tributary of Blackburn Fork on U.S. 231 east of Oneonta. The project consists of right-of-way acquisition in 2020, followed by construction work in 2022. Cost is estimated at $350,000 and length of roadway affected is .2 mile. Culvert is located at the bottom of the hill just east of the Dailey’s Chapel Road/Rogers Road intersection with U.S. 231.
• Bridge replacement of the span over the Little Warrior River on Ala 79 about a mile north of Locust Fork. Project stages include utilities relocation in 2023, followed by bridge construction and replacement, also in 2023. Cost is estimated at $12.95 million and the length of roadway affected at .5 mile.
ALDOT develops the STIP in accordance with the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and applicable federal regulations. Projects are developed in coordination with the state’s 14 metropolitan and rural planning organizations. Portions of southern Blount County lie within the Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization’s jurisdiction, the relevant coordinating agency for the above projects. Funding for projects appearing on the STIP are considered to be available and sufficient to finance the improvements listed.