Butler County completes first ATRIP project

Published 1:06 pm Friday, September 20, 2013

Butler County’s first project as part of the largest road and bridge improvement program in Alabama’s history is complete.

According to county engineer Dennis McCall, officials with the Alabama Department of Transportation completed their final inspection of a bridge on County Road 53 that spans a tributary of Patsaliga Creek and have approved it for use.

The bridge will likely be reopened to traffic on Monday, just more than a year after the county was awarded a grant to replace the 51-year-old bridge.

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According to McCall, the typical life cycle of a bridge is 50 years.

“This project replaced a weight-restricted bridge with a new structure,” McCall said. “This new bridge will ensure that private landowners have a safe and dependable roadway system for the transport of timber for many years to come.”

The project increased the length of the bridge, which will service more than 18,000 acres of timberland in Butler and Covington Counties, from 76 feet to 102 feet.

While McCall said the primary beneficiary of the new bridge will be those involved with the timber industry, the hope is that such projects will make Butler County and the state as a whole more attractive to businesses looking for a place to locate, according to Gov. Robert Bentley.

“Companies depend on updated roads and bridges to help them safely conduct business and make deliveries,” Bentley said. “As we improve our infrastructure, we will improve the business climate in the state and make Alabama more attractive to businesses seeking to locate here and bring additional jobs. Communities need help improving roads that are currently over capacity or in need of various safety improvements.”

The bridge replacement was funded through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program.

Butler County received $321,792.96 through ATRIP and was responsible for $80,448.24 in matching funds.

Funding for ATRIP comes through the use of Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles Bonds (GARVEE). Through the use of GARVEE bonds, Alabama is able to access future federal dollars now in order to pay for road and bridge projects that are needed immediately.