County benefits from ATRIP

Published 12:50 am Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Local governments got much-needed assistance this week when the state approved a new round of funds for bridge and road improvements. Nine Covington County projects totaling $17 million – $13.6 million of which will be provided by the state – were included in latest Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program awards.

Statewide, $397.78 million worth of improvements were authorized.

ATRIP uses the promise of future federal dollars to issue bonds to meet immediate needs.

The funds for Covington County target a major improvement project in Andalusia on South Three Notch, resurfacing six county roads, a new bridge over Eden Creek, and paving of West Cummings Avenue in Opp.

The projects are designed to stimulate the economy by putting contractors to work, and by making areas like South Three Notch more attractive. But they also will make our roads and bridges safer.

With state finances stretched to the breaking point, and lawmakers determined not to raise taxes, the options available to local governments for infrastructure maintenance are limited, to say the least.

It’s easy to see why local governments are pleased to see their projects included in the ATRIP monies. Without this financial boost, many of these projects would go undone for years if not decades.

Covington County is fortunate to have so many projects included.