Madison and Limestone Co. get millions in ATRIP funding

Officials have asked Madison Co. leaders to prioritize roads needing repair.
Officials have asked Madison Co. leaders to prioritize roads needing repair.
Gov. Bentley launched the ATRIP program last year.
Gov. Bentley launched the ATRIP program last year.

A program set up by Governor Bentley will give millions to repair roads in the Valley.

Madison County will receive $50 million to fix and improve roads. The money is part of ATRIP funding -- a program set up last year by Governor Bentley.

Madison County has a month to decide how the money will be divided. Officials have asked city leaders to decide which roads take priority.

"Everyone has unique needs across the state, but for us, the things that are most important and take priority are traffic count, road safety and economic development," said State Representative Mac McCucheon.

In the city of Huntsville, Zierdt Road takes the top spot in the eyes of the city's planning department. The city wants to widen the northbound lane from Martin Road to South of Madison Boulevard. That will help alleviate traffic problems near the arsenal. Old Madison Pike and Old Highway 20 are also priorities.

"I think every little bit helps, but we know we are going to hit a certain thresh-hold," said Huntsville Planning Manager Dennis Madsen. "A lot of what is a selling point for the city of Huntsville, Madison and the metro area is that we have a very good commute time."

County leaders say keeping that commute time short is vital. It could help bring more business and jobs. That means more money trickling into our economy.

Limestone County will also receive some money from ATRIP.

Limestone county engineer Richard Sanders said in the third round of the program, Limestone county was awarded 5.6 million dollars, another three million going to other municipalities in the county. County officials say their share is enough to fix 10 areas that will need special attention.

"We did get commitments on all that we asked for this round," Sanders said.  "The money just offers us a way to finance projects that are needed and get them done sooner rather than spread out over several years."

Drivers like Elizabeth Tubbs said the sooner the repairs come, the better.

"We are very excited about it because there are a lot of roads that need help with all the rain that we've gotten recently, there are a lot of pot holes and you keep hitting those same spots and it would be great to have safety problems solved," she said.

The ATRIP money will also solve some of the financial issues that come with road repairs. The state will pay 80% of the tab.  The county will take care of the rest. It's money Sanders said helps the county speed toward the improvements.

"These projects are much needed and several of the bridges especially were things that we would have to do in the next 4 or 5 years but this will move them up to a much quicker pace and provides the financing we need to get it done soon."

Sanford says the roads that need resurfacing will be fixed in the spring or summer.  The bridges that need repairs will be fixed in the fall.

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