$5.2M funding announced for Walker County
by W. Brian Hale
Jul 25, 2013 | 2809 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
District 5 Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper) announced Gov. Robert Bentley’s allocation of $5.2 million in Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) to Walker County road and bridge projects on Wednesday.

Bentley held a press conference on Wednesday morning to announce the final round of ATRIP funding, in which Walker County received a large share.

“Roads and bridges are crucial components of infrastructure and economic growth, and I am committed to ensuring that this district receives every dollar of funding possible,” Reed said. “I want to thank Gov. Bentley for taking care of our communities, but most importantly for the close friendship he and I have developed through working to improve Alabama’s healthcare and economy.”

The ATRIP funding will go toward widening and resurfacing Viking Drive in Jasper, which will be the main thoroughfare for the site of the new Walker High School.

Also included in these awards are crucial restoration projects within the county — Browns Bridge and Smith Chapel Bridge.

“It’s with the cooperation and support of District 14 Rep. Richard Baughn and District 13 Rep. Bill Roberts, Mayor Sonny Posey and the Jasper City Council, Chairman Billy Luster and the Walker County Commission, the Alabama Department of Transportation, along with our city and county engineers that these projects will finally come to fruition for the people of Walker County.”

Jasper City Council member Jed Daniel, whose district includes the targeted Viking Drive improvement, said the ATRIP funding will enhance future commercial and residential prospects along the route, as well as more efficient access to the new Walker High School.

“The funding that has been awarded to us could go somewhere else, so we’re very happy that it is coming to our hometown,” Daniel said. “Obviously, the area of Viking Drive had to be addressed with the new school being built, so we’re very excited to hear about the funding being awarded to us for it.”

The funding for the restoration of the Smith Chapel Bridge was also welcomed news to County Commissioner Dan Wright, which falls within Wright’s district.

The bridge, located on Smith Chapel Road just outside Carbon Hill, was closed in May as a result of a rating by ALDOT that determined it could no longer support three tons.

“It’s a great day for our community — everyone is extremely grateful that we are receiving the funding for the bridge’s restoration,” Wright said. “It is sorely need, as if the bridge were to go down, access between Carbon Hill and Nauvoo would be extremely hampered. I’m ready to get it started and I’m sure the people of our district will be happy to see the restoration underway.”