By William C. Singleton III
Vestavia Hills and Hoover were big winners among Over the Mountain cities to receive federal funds for much needed road improvements.
Gov. Robert Bentley recently announced that the federal government would fund more than 300 road projects for a total of $397 million through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvements Program, also called ATRIP. The Alabama Department of Transportation will administer the federal aid highway program.
Jefferson County stands to receive $15.7 million in ATRIP funds, which will require a match of about $3.9 million from local governments.
Hoover and Vestavia Hills each have two projects on the list.
Hoover’s Galleria Boulevard is scheduled for resurfacing and realignment under ATRIP. Federal funds will cover $531,083 with the city of Hoover picking up $162,400 for the project.
Hoover’s other road improvement project includes intersection upgrades on South Shades Crest Road and Edge Ridge Drive/Shades Run Circle. That project will cost $873,000 with $698,400 coming from federal funds and $174,600 from the city of Hoover.
Vestavia Hills will see resurfacing of Rocky Ridge Road from Lorna Road to U.S. 280. That project will cost $2.67 million with federal funds covering $2.1 million and Vestavia Hills funding about $535,460.
Resurfacing is also scheduled for Columbiana, Tyler and Overton roads in Vestavia Hills, a project that will cost about $1 million with about $846,000 being paid for through ATRIP funds and $211,500 from Vestavia Hills.
Vestavia Hills City Manager Randy Robertson said there could be partnering opportunities with other cities to reduce the local matching costs.
Because parts of the roads wind through Birmingham, Jefferson County and Hoover, those respective governments could pitch in to fund sections of the local match, Robertson said.
“We believe those are two of the most challenged streets in the city in terms of the conditions of them,” Robertson said of Columbiana and Rocky Ridge roads. “The cost of those would have been prohibitive for the city to take on other than continued patching. So we–the council, the staff, the citizens–believe this is a huge victory. This just wasn’t going to be done without this money.”
ALDOT will control the process, bidding the project, awarding construction contracts and determining the timetable for completion, Robertson said.
“It won’t be tomorrow, but we’re going to pursue this as aggressively as we can,” he said.