By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Transportation announced Thursday $7 million in funding to several cities and counties for road and bridge projects.
“An investment in our roads and bridges is an investment in the future of Alabama,” Ivey said in a written statement. “These $7 million in funds will go a long way in helping communities across the state address various road and bridge projects. I am proud to see the continuing positive ramifications from the Rebuild Alabama Act. Soon, every Alabama citizen will feel the benefits from this additional investment in our infrastructure.”
The Rebuild Alabama Act, which included a 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase, sends some revenue directly to cities and counties. It also requires ALDOT to establish an annual grant program setting aside $10 million for local projects.
There were 31 projects selected for funding. A second award cycle is expected later this year to award the remaining $3 million.
It is anticipated that all projects will be under contract by the end of the calendar year, after bids are taken.
The 6-cent increase started in September. When the full 10-cent increase is implemented by 2022, it is expected to raise about $320 million per year and Alabama cities and towns are expected to get an additional $26 million a year.
The announcement comes as Ivey on Friday is scheduled to attend the dedication of the opening of the new Interstate 20-59 bridge through downtown Birmingham. The state’s busiest roadway had been shutdown undergoing a replacement for the last year.