FLOMATON - Officials from Alabama and Florida will celebrate groundbreaking on Tuesday for work that will widen a key hurricane evacuation route, Alabama 113 in Escambia County.
Even though the route is an Alabama highway, a Florida county has agreed to provide $4 million to help pay for the widening project because many of its citizens will use the highway to flee hurricanes bearing down on the Florida panhandle. Governor Bob Riley, who will be on hand Tuesday at the groundbreaking ceremony, signed an agreement in Aug. 2006 with local officials from Flomaton and Escambia County, Alabama to get the project started.
"Evacuations save lives. This project is going to end up saving lives of citizens in both our states," said Governor Riley. "By working together, Alabama and Florida will widen this evacuation route and get more people out of harm's way."
Alabama 113 will be widened to four lanes along the 14-mile stretch from Flomaton to Interstate 65. Alabama is committing $20 million to the project, the city of Flomaton and Escambia County, Alabama are each providing $500,000, and Escambia County, Florida is committing $4 million.
In addition to helping both Alabamians and Floridians evacuate, the construction project also has an economic development benefit by creating a four-lane highway all the way through Escambia County, Alabama.