County gets more ATRIP funds

Published 5:05 pm Thursday, July 25, 2013

Escambia County has received $5 million in highway funding in the last phase of ATRIP, the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program.

State officials announced Wednesday morning that 45 counties shared the final $372 million in funding for cities and counties in the last phase of the program, which is the largest road and bridge project in state history. ATRIP is funded by GARVEE bonds, which state officials said allow Alabama to access future federal funds for needed road and bridge projects.

“ATRIP is making a difference in every county across the state by allowing much-needed road and bridge improvement projects to move forward,” Gov. Robert Bentley said in a release.  “As we make these improvements, 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.  Our roads and bridges will be much safer thanks to this program, and our communities will be in a better position to recruit more jobs.”

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Atmore Mayor Jim Staff said Atmore did not apply for any projects in the third round of funding, but did receive grants for two projects during the first two rounds.

“We are working on repaving Presley Street right now,” Staff said of the ongoing project slated to last approximately three weeks. “We are also going to be resurfacing Medical Park Drive and Martin Luther King Drive from one end to the other, but we are waiting on some sewer work to get done first.”

Staff said the project would pave the road from State Line Road south to Carver Avenue.

The projects will cost a total of $737,306 with the state picking up 80 percent of that, or $589,845, and the city responsible for the remaining $147,461.

Staff said the city chose not to apply for third round of projects because of funding.

“We just didn’t need to spend the money,” Staff said. “We already have two projects and have lots of other things we need to get done.”

The three phases of ATRIP funding were also responsible for improvements to Atmosphere Road in Poarch. There has not yet been any word as to whether funding from the final round of grants would go toward any projects in western Escambia County.

The funds announced Wednesday bring Escambia County’s total ATRIP award to $11.9 million.