ATRIP 2 Project Headed to Legislature
Most of the roads in Alabama are well past their expiration date. Butler County Engineer Dennis McCall says the lifespan of a normal road is around 20 years, but the roads in Butler County were paved in the 50s or late 60s.
“In that day and time they did a remarkable job building the road,” McCall says. “But there’s never been a string of revenue to maintain that road system.”
McCall estimates it would take $4.5 million a year to keep the 500 mile road system in Butler County maintained, but he says the revenue from the county’s gas tax is less than $2 million per year.
“We’re not generating enough gasoline revenues to cover our immediate needs of just to maintain the infrastructure we have in place now,” he adds.
That’s not just in Butler County; there’s a lack of funding for most of Alabama’s roadways. The Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) helped pave a number of roads in Butler County and the state in just four years, but the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) wanted to do more.
The ACCA came up with ATRIP 2. The bill would impose a three cent gasoline tax in Alabama to pay off a $1.2 billion bond issue. McCall estimates that cost to be a little less than $2 extra each month to every driver in Butler County to provide a $54 million economic impact. He says it’s well worth the increase.
“We’re looking at somewhere around 65 miles of road resurfacing projects. And the replacement of 5-7 bridges.”
The bill goes to the legislature in early February. If passed through both the Senate and House, ATRIP 2 could repave and resurface more than 12,300 miles of road and 450 bridges across the state. The ACCA estimates ATRIP 2 would have an economic impact of $6 billion on Alabama.
McCall encourages every Alabama resident to contact their local representative or county engineer to ask more about ATRIP 2. For more information and to take a quick survey about ATRIP 2, click here.