The new gas tax has paid dividends locally as Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday the state will give $2 million to a U.S. Highway 84 West expansion project in Dothan.
The project will add a westbound lane between Flowers Chapel and John D. Odom roads and is one of three improving Wiregrass thoroughfares. Officials awarded $1.6 million to Coffee County to realign a dangerous intersection in the New Hope community and another $670,304 to Geneva County to add left turn lanes on an eastern Hartford intersection.
The money comes from the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program II, which is funded through the new 6-cent gas tax legislators passed in March. ATRIP II will provide $30 million across 28 projects in its first year.
Cities and counties across the state submitted 121 projects for consideration, and 58 met the program’s criteria, said Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark), who sat on the committee that determined the ATRIP II awards. Dothan Public Works Director Charles Metzger said he felt fortunate that Dothan’s effort received approval given the competition.
“We’re proud to get this project in the first year,” Metzger said of the Highway 84 expansion. “We’re excited about it.”
The $2 million Dothan will receive is the maximum award available under ATRIP II but only funds part of the project. The city will have to submit another $2.4 million to complete the effort.
The project addresses a busy thoroughfare that experiences congestion – especially during the evening rush hour. Crews will construct the extra lane out of the existing median, Metzger said.
Additionally officials hope to reconfigure the intersection of Woodburn Drive and U.S. Highway 84 West to prevent a backlog of cars filling the median, Metzger noted.
City officials want to start the project in 2020 or early 2021 – essentially as soon as another Highway 84 West expansion project concludes. The Alabama Department of Transportation just let the bids for an initiative that expands 84 West to six lanes from Flowers Chapel Road to Englewood Drive, Metzger said.
Elsewhere Coffee County will receive more than $1.6 million to realign the intersections of county roads 239 and 114 with Alabama Highway 167. The intersection has been the site of several deadly accidents throughout the years, and the county roads will be reconfigured to intersect the busy Alabama Highway 167 at right angles.
Coffee County will have to provide $179,358.50 for the project.
In Geneva County, left turn lanes will be added to the intersection of County Road 69 and Alabama Highway 52. ATRIP II will fully fund the effort.
Clouse said he felt “honored” that Ivey tapped him to represent the Wiregrass on the ATRIP II committee and help procure three projects in the first year of the program.
“There were a lot of wants … more than $141 million in requests,” he said.
The state should officially release the money to the winning projects in the early spring, Clouse noted.