Increased funding expected for roads

Published 9:32 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2012

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Citizens in attendance at Monday’s Lowndes County Commission meeting heard good news concerning funding for road projects.

County Engineer David Butts announced County Road 37 the “road slide” toward Fort Deposit has been submitted for bid in the month of September.

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“I want to go on record thanking Sen. (Hank) Sanders for the hard work that he did helping us out on that,” Butts said.

County Administrator Jackie Thomas told commissioners the state Highway Department said the county could not do work on that road because the county would have made money on the project that could have been used on another project.

If the project had to be bid, the county would have to come up with $200,000 in matching funds “that we did not have,” she said. “We probably would have had to close that road.”

But with Sanders’s help, Thomas said, the road will be done without the county having to match the funds.

Sanders declined to comment.

Butts said plans for County Road 54, an Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program project, have been submitted.

Governor Robert Bentley recently announced 105 road and bridge grants across the state including over $562,000 for the Lowndes County project.

Lowndes County received $562,440.80 in grants for resurfacing County Road 54 (Old Selma Highway) from County Road 40 to the Montgomery city limits.

The county is expected to match the grant with $140,610.20 for a total cost of $703,051.00.

Commission Chairman Robert Harris said, however, the governor and the state Department of Transportation asked the county to solicit matching funds.

Harris said the funds have been matched, but would not identify the source.

He said County Road 54 is in the first round of a three-phase ATRIP Process and that Lowndes County has 10 roads that qualify.

“It is not our control to choose the road,” he said.

Butts also said the paving part of a County Road 7 project in Commissioner Marzett Thomas’ district was expected to be complete by Wednesday, July 25.

He said the only things left would be to flush the shoulders, seeding and mulching.