Co. Rd 70 to be paved

Published 12:03 am Friday, June 1, 2012

There is one Covington County road and bridge project among the 105 announced Thursday by Gov. Robert Bentley as part of the first round of funding for ATRIP – the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program.

ATRIP is the largest road and bridge improvement program in Alabama’s history. The improvements are designed to enhance safety and quality of life for people in communities across the state, as well as serve as an economic development tool. Updated roads and bridges will help the state recruit additional jobs from companies that depend on a modern, solid infrastructure to transport goods.

County engineer Darren Capps said the county is set to receive $1.067 million to resurface 7.52 miles of County Road 70 from Mt. Pisgah Church to Sassers Crossroads. Capps said he was pleased the heavily-traveled CR-70 project was funded.

“The preliminary figures released Thursday weren’t quite right, but I talked with the head of the program who said the paperwork didn’t get updated,” Capps said. The information released by the governor’s office showed the project cost at $199,818. “The project’s real estimate is $1.067 million, but he said it should be fixed soon.”

The county is required to contribute a 20 percent match for the project. Bids will let in August, he said.

Capps said he submitted six projects for consideration and hopes the others will be funded during the next two rounds of ATRIP funding. The 105 projects announced Thursday represent $138.5 million in funding during the initial round of ATRIP. Funding for ATRIP comes through the use of the Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles Bond Program or GARVEE bonds.

“From large cities to rural areas, the people of this state deserve reliable, safe roads and bridges,” Bentley said. “School buses should not have to be detoured around substandard bridges. Communities need help improving roads that are currently over capacity or in need of various safety improvements.

“Also, companies depend on updated roads and bridges to help them safely conduct business and make deliveries,” Bentley said. “As we improve our infrastructure, we will improve the business climate in the state and make Alabama more attractive to businesses seeking to locate here and bring additional jobs.”

The program was unveiled in February, and 64 of Alabama’s 67 counties submitted project applications, with at least one project from 61 counties approved in the first phase of funding

ATRIP applications were analyzed by the state Department of Transportation and reviewed by an advisory committee, which, in conjunction with Bentley, made the final project funding decisions.