It’s been six weeks since Alabamians have absorbed a 6-cent per gallon tax hike at the gas pumps, and we bring it up again at the risk of irritating readers all over again. Hear us out; we’ve got a bit of good news to ease the pain of the couple of extra bucks that tank of gas may cost.
On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced more than $30 million in road improvements that spring from the proceeds of the gasoline tax, and three of the 28 projects statewide are here in the Wiregrass.
The good news is that one of the projects directs $2 million in gas tax funds to add a third outbound lane to U.S. 84 from Flowers Chapel Road to John D. Odom Road. The bad news is that construction on that improvement will follow a widening project from Englewood Drive to Flowers Chapel Road, extending the construction time along the busy thoroughfare.
Elsewhere, Coffee County will receive more than $1.6 million to realign the intersections of county roads 239 and 114 with Alabama Highway 167, and in Geneva County, left turn lanes will be added to the intersection of County Road 69 and Alabama Highway 52.
Infrastructure improvements are painful in the short term but, once completed, will make traffic flow more palatable in those areas.
The most satisfying part is that southeast Alabama, which often gets short-shrift as an overlooked part of the state, is included in the first round of gas tax-funded projects. We appreciate the attention.