By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Governor Robert Bentley has appointed Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey to the advisory committee of Gov. Bentley’s new Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP).
Lt. Gov. Ivey said, “Alabama’s economy rides and thrives on our infrastructure. ATRIP is tasked with looking at the overall rehabilitation and improvement plan for state transportation, and I appreciate Governor Bentley appointing me to this crucial committee. Whether in rural, urban or suburban Alabama, we must care for the roads and bridge we already have while we look at where we can grow and expand the system
Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) is the name of the Governor’s plan to issue bonds to pay for road and bridge improvements in the state of Alabama.
Gov. Bentley appointed the advisory committee this week and said, “We have an aggressive timeline, and we will work quickly and efficiently to identify the roads and bridges that most urgently need to be repaired.”
“The first set of ATRIP applications will be due at the end of this month, so we can begin right away to make sure our roads are safe for the people of this state,” Governor Bentley said. “This will also help us continue to recruit new jobs statewide by providing an infrastructure that meets the demands of various industries,” Gov. Bentley said.
In addition to the Lt. Governor the ATRIP Advisory Committee members include John Cooper, Alabama Transportation Director – Committee Chairman, Alabama State Representative Mac McCutcheon (R) from Huntsville (chosen by Speaker Mike Hubbard), Alabama State Senator Paul Bussman (R) from Cullman (Designated by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh), Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, Henry Hawkins a retired Chambers county road engineer, and Herb Huner a retired Pike county road engineer.
Gov. Bentley said, “Bottom line – this will make our state safer. It will improve quality of life. And it will create new jobs. We’re moving forward, and people will see projects getting underway soon.” “Using GARVEE bonds makes good financial sense,” Governor Bentley said. “Right now, the cost of borrowing is very low. In fact, the cost of inflation on these construction projects is higher than the interest rates we’ll pay on the bonds.”
By using GARVEE bonds, ATRIP allows the state to access future federal dollars to finance road and bridge improvements today. GARVEE bonds are tax exempt debt backed by future Federal aid highway funding.
Local governments and public/private partnerships have been asked to submit their requests for project funding. The Initial requests are due on March 31st. Additional requests will be submitted in the future. The projects selected will be reviewed by the advisory committee and final projects will be chosen by Governor Bentley. Gov. Bentley predicts that the ATRIP product will create construction jobs all over Alabama. The program will last for three years.
The long-term nature of the ATRIP project will generate construction jobs throughout the state. While initial funding requests are due March 31, additional requests can be submitted in the future. The program is expected to continue for three years. All of the approved projects will be developed at an expedited pace in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Transportation. ATRIP is part of the Governor’s effort to improve the safety of Alabama’s roads and bridges.
To read the Governor’s Press Release in its entirety: