The Alabama Road Builder - Fall 2013 - (Page 16)

ALDOT By John Cooper Transportation Director, ALDOT C ities and counties are on their way to making significant improvements on local roads and bridges because of the unprecedented funding program unveiled during Gov. Robert Bentley’s 2012 State of the State Address. Gov. Bentley announced the Alabama Transpor tation Improvement and Rehabilitation Program (ATRIP) after touring the state during his fi rst year in office and realizing the plight of local governments in improving local roads and replacing dilapidated bridges. Many local bridges were weight restricted, forcing school buses to take long detours and adding costs to transporting goods and raw materials such as timber. The Department of Transportation responded to the governor’s vision for improving Alabama’s roads and bridges by the fast-track development of the ATRIP program, opening up several rounds of applications that allowed all 67 counties to receive funds to advance projects that the local governments otherwise could not afford. Funding for ATRIP projects comes primarily from the use of GARVEE bonds (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle Bonds).  With GARVEE bonds, Alabama is able to access future federal dollars to pay for road and bridge projects that are needed immediately. The use of GARVEE bonds makes strong financial sense because the cost of borrowing is generally lower than the rising cost of construction inflation.  GARVEE bonds provide 80 percent of ATRIP project funding.  Local governments or local 16 ATRIP Continues to Pick Up Speed public-private partnerships provide the remaining 20 percent funding match. In addition, 21 counties received their matching funds from a state-funded bond program. Those counties, identified as unable to come up with adequate local matching funds, were limited to $1 million in state funding to match $4 million in federal aid funds for a total of $5 million in projects. This special matching program is called the Rural Assistance Matching Program, or RAMP. Already 107 projects have been let to contract valued at more than $103 million. The program is on track to award funding for more than 900 local projects (including more than 300 new bridges) valued at approximately $1.2 billion. When all is said and done, the ATRIP program will be the largest improvement program for local roads and bridges in Alabama’s history. This program is also signifi cant because it has been a true partnership between city and county governments, a handful of public-private partnerships that helped muster matching funds, and the state through ALDOT and Gov. Bentley’s office. The legislature also played a vital role by creating the RAMP program to help provide matching funds to needy Alabama counties. The legislation was sponsored by Senator Paul Bussman and Rep.Mac McCutcheon. Another important part of the program was the ATRIP Advisory Committee that reviewed project applications submitted by cities and counties across the state.  The committee included Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, Senator Bussman, McCutcheon, Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham Executive Director Charles Ball and retired county engineer, Herb Huner. I represented ALDOT on the committee. And fi nally, we’ve been able to expedite the program because of the hard work of the Innovative Programs Bureau at ALDOT. This office was created primarily to help manage the application process and to help local governments get their projects ready for the ALDOT letting process. I am very appreciative, and I know the local governments and people of Alabama are, too, for all those who are helping make Alabama better through the ATRIP program. ❏ www.alrba.org http://www.alrba.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Alabama Road Builder - Fall 2013

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
ALABAMA ROADBUILDERS CONVENTION 2013 HIGHLIGHTS
2013 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP
PROPOSED I-10 BRIDGE HOPES TO CURE BOTTLENECK IN MOBILE
ALDOT
HIGHWAY & BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION WORKER SAFETY
ARTBA
LEGAL
MEMBER PROFILE
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES MARKETPLACE
HEARD ALONG THE HIGHWAY
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS/ADVERTISERS.COM

The Alabama Road Builder - Fall 2013

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