Wiregrass communities selected as part of $7 million road improvement project

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT/WDHN) — Tired of bumpy roads and scary bridges? Thanks to new federal funding, you could soon see some major road and bridge work in your area.

On Thursday, Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Transportation announced that $7 million in funding is being awarded to 31 cities and counties across the state for various local road and bridge projects. The money will come from the state’s gas tax increase that took effect last year.

Clayhatchee will receive $246,865.00 to resurface Ballpark Drive and widen and resurface Davidson road and Fulford Drive.

Meanwhile, the town of Black in Geneva County will get $250,000 to resurface numerous streets.

Mayors like Ronnie Marks of Athens are calling this “a game-changer.”

“Moving traffic is so important and when you have bridges and roads that have not had attention for years and years, it needs to be improved,” Marks said. 

Marks said infrastructure plays a large role in safety and economic development.

“You’re moving kids to school; you’re moving traffic,” he said. “In north Alabama, we have a tremendous amount of growth.”

The projects are a mix of both cities and counties in places like Madison, Jefferson, Chilton, Lee, Geneva and Baldwin counties.

“The money that is coming on this helps our cities that are coming out of the great recession, where there (were) no local funds being generated where they could put towards infrastructure,” said Greg Cochran, deputy director of the Alabama League of Municipalities.

The annual grant program was created under the Rebuild Alabama Act, which was passed by lawmakers last year. The infrastructure bill included a six-cent increase in 2019, a two-cent increase in 2020 and a two-cent increase in 2021.

It is anticipated that all projects will be under contract by the end of the calendar year after bids are taken.

Here is the list of cities and counties who will receive funding:

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