By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, – Ala. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby today announced three new major infrastructure grants totaling $38 million that will help state and local governments fund highway improvements.
Lauderdale County is getting a 14.9 million grant that will help expand a stretch of U.S. Highway 72 (Florence Blvd) from four lanes to six lanes.
Madison County will receive $9.3 million to expand Blake Bottom Road from two lanes to five lanes, which will help ease traffic congestion around Redstone Arsenal and Cummings Research Park.
The City of Gulf Shores got a $14 million for a project to increase capacity on State Highway 59.
The grants are part of the U.S., Department of Transportation’s BUILD program, which is aimed to fund projects that can boost economic development. BUILD stands for Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development
“I look forward to working with my colleagues and Transportation Secretary Chao as we continue to prioritize the infrastructure needs of Alabama and the nation,” Shelby said.
According to Shelby’s office, the awarding of three such grants to one state is extremely rare. Shelby, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, has made infrastructure funding a legislative priority.