FLORENCE — City and county officials should know this week what will be funded through a bridge and road program for local projects.
They also hope to get a better understanding of how much money will be available for later work.
“We will know next week if we got Wood Avenue as part of the round two request,” Mayor Mickey Haddock said last week, referring to the city’s application for $3.9 million from the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation Improvement Program.
Florence officials want to rebuild Wood Avenue because the bed is unstable. They also want to relocate utilities along the route.
The Alabama Department of Transportation is administering the program, which uses federal money in the form of grants to cities and some counties. Local governments that receive the money must provide a 20 percent financial match.
Lauderdale County is working with Florence to obtain money to upgrade rural bridges that have weight limits too low for school buses to cross. Florence has agreed to pay the county’s match, up to $1 million. The arrangement allows the city to remain eligible for ATRIP money, and could allow the county to get more money than is available through an alternative grant program.
Haddock said 22 counties in Alabama chose the alternative program, which does not require a local match, which means at least $260 million will be available to cities and counties that chose ATRIP.
“After round two (of ATRIP) is awarded, we will have better knowledge of how much money is available,” he said.
Haddock said the city will ask for enough money to completely fund a reworking of West College Street, which will include a bridge that links west Florence with Alabama 20 and the city’s sports complex.
“We hope, based on the number of counties that have gone to the alternative grant program, it will free up enough money to do the improvements to College Street and the bridge,” City Council President Dick Jordan said.
Robert Palmer can be reached at 256-740-5720 or robert.palmer@TimesDaily.com.