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RAMP could provide money for bridge repairs

Published 5:38pm Wednesday, April 10, 2013

“As a member of the ATRIP Advisory Board, I am pleased to see more rural counties have the opportunity to be eligible to receive financial assistance to improve roads and bridges in their areas,” Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey said. “These projects play a vital role in the long-term economic impact of local communities and the state.”

The first priority for funding in each RAMP county is the replacement of county bridges posted for school bus traffic and eligible for federal funds.

If all eligible bridge replacement needs are fulfilled, local governments would also be able to request funding for other road improvement projects deemed eligible to receive ATRIP funding.

All bridge and road projects must be eligible for federal assistance to be considered for ATRIP or RAMP funding.

Chilton County engineer Tony Wearren said there are eight bridges the county could replace under the RAMP program.

Wearren said work should begin on the bridges as soon as the drawings and projects are initiated.

“It takes a long time to get a bridge finished,” Wearren said. “There are a lot of studies that go into bridges such as archeological studies and environmental studies.”

Wearren said the bridges will be turned into the state with a priority list that is based on a deficiency rating by the state.

“We are hoping to try to group the bridge projects together in one or two bridges worked on at the same time,” Wearren said. “I would anticipate probably not seeing any construction on the bridges until the end of the summer. We are still in the drawing preparations stage.”

ATRIP is expected to distribute up to $1 billion in federal funds during a three-year period for eligible projects submitted by participating counties and cities throughout Alabama. The ATRIP funds will be provided up front by GARVEE bonds and repaid by future federal highway funding appropriations.

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