HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — According to Rebuild Alabama, the state has more than 213 thousand public lane miles, 73% of which are in rural areas.
For a typical county road, the recommended resurfacing period is 15 years.
However, governments right now are currently operating on a 56-year resurfacing schedule.
“The local governments haven’t been able to afford to keep those maintained as they should,” Chief Administrative Officer Peter Covert said. “A lot more traffic in this area, we all know in the springtime we see a lot of traffic flying through here going down to the beach. However, that does have an impact on our infrastructure.”
Counties are now starting to receive funds from Governor Kay Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama initiative that raised the gas tax by two cents in 2019.
In Houston County, the funds collected from the tax will go toward improving the worst 50 miles of roads.
“We want to advance that money and not just do it slowly over the years,” Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver said. “So, we’re going to do a bond issue, a six million dollar issue, that will allow us to advance up to 50 miles of roads immediately.”
The 50-mile road improvements should be completed within two years, according to the commission.
“We think our citizens want to see their money they’re paying for taxes on gas be put to work immediately,” Culver said. “Interest rates are at an all-time low, we just think it’s a good time to do this and go to work immediately with those funds.”
Covert said he thinks this plan is a very good stewardship of the county’s infrastructure as well as its financing funds.