Danville Road bridge replacement receives fundingPublished 9:35pm Thursday, May 31, 2012
The Flint Creek Bridge on Danville Road in western Morgan County is one of 105 road and bridge improvement projects that have been approved for funding through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP).
The program’s first of three phases of funding was announced by Gov. Robert Bentley on May 31.
Funds totaling $3 million were approved for replacement of the bridge, which divides Districts 1 and 2. Of that amount, $600,000 will be appropriated by the Morgan County Commission, payable out of road and bridge funds.
Morgan County Engineer Greg Bodley said the bridge is old in need of replacement.
“This bridge was one we didn’t know how we were going to come up with the money to replace because of the high cost,” Bodley pointed out. “It was getting close to the time when we were going to have to post it as being unsafe for bus traffic.
“The ATRIP Program came along just in time and we’re pleased that it was accepted for funding,” Bodley stated. “We applied for funding for another bridge replacement but it was not approved. We’ll be ready to resubmit it for funding in the ATRIP’s second phase at the proper time.”
Bodley said planning for the bridge began about two years ago. It has included the purchase of needed road right-of-way and preliminary engineering. Final plans must be completed and submitted to the Alabama Department of Transportation for approval in about a month.
He pointed out that the new bridge will be wider and constructed adjacent to the existing one, allowing normal traffic to continue through the greater part of construction.
ATRIP is the largest road and bridge improvement program in the state’s history. Improvements are designed to enhance safety and quality of life for people in communities across the state.
Further, the projects will serve as an economic development tool. Updated roads and bridges will help the state recruit additional jobs from companies that depend on a modern, solid infrastructure to transport goods.
“From large cities to rural areas, the people of this state deserve reliable, safe roads and bridges,” Bentley said in a press release. “School buses should not have to be detoured around substandard bridges. Communities need help improving roads that are currently over capacity or in need of various safety Improvements.”
Bentley first unveiled the ATRIP program in February. Cities and counties across the state then submitted proposals for the initial round of funding. Applications were reviewed by ALDOT and a committee reviewed eligible projects, which, in conjunction with the governor, make the final project funding decisions.
There were applications from 64 of the state’s 67 counties, with at least one project from 61 counties approved in the first phase of funding. At least two additional rounds of funding are planned, one in the fall of this year and one in the spring of 2013. Projects not selected in the first phase are eligible for submission during the second and third phases.