Lowndes County to apply for first-round road grants
Published 11:30 am Saturday, February 10, 2024
On Jan. 31 Governor Kay Ivey announced that more than $40 million in state transportation funding is being awarded to cities and counties for various road and bridge projects.
According to a recent press release, the funding is made available through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program-II (ATRIPP-II), a program created by the Rebuild Alabama Act.
Although the grants that the County applies for are competitive grants and there is never a guarantee that the funding will be awarded, county officials have noticed the need for the roads in Lowndes County to be fixed and have applied for several grants.
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The ATRIPP-II is one of three government grants that the county applies for yearly and there has been no notification yet as to whether it has been awarded to the county.
The Rebuild Alabama Grant is another source of funding that the County consistently applies for and the application for this grant closes on Feb. 7 according to David Butts, County Engineer.
“We have gotten money from the Rebuild Alabama Grant maybe one or two times before,” Butts said. “The grant is $250,000 and it is given to the county for whatever roads that are submitted. We try to do $50,000 per commissioner and 5 different short roads that can be completed with that amount of money.”
The roads submitted for this grant are half a mile of Benton Road in District One, Grant Road in District Two, McQueen Road in District Three, Rolling Acres Rd in District Four, along with two other shorter roads in District Five.
The county applied for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and was awarded $400,000 in 2023 that will be used to complete work on three other roads in the county including Percy Johnson Road, a mile-long section of Collirene Cutoff Road and another very short District Four road.
Work on these roads is set to start in the spring.
Butts said that in order for the county to complete or resurface roads, the funding from these grants is extremely important.
“Many of the roads in Lowndes County are roads that are not on the federal aid route,” Butts said. “This means that these roads don’t apply for federal funding and without these grants, we don’t have enough money coming in from the gas tax to resurface any of these roads. It roughly costs about $100,000 a mile to resurface a road and there is not enough money to completely resurface our roads. Without grants, the only thing we could really do is patch potholes, level roads, and keep them up but we wouldn’t be able to resurface the roads.”
Next on the federally funded road repair list is County Road 29 and the county will be given $400,000.00 to be used on the project.