By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D) from Selma announced that the City of Birmingham was awarded a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The money will be used to repair and complete a regional multimodal street network.
Rep. Terri Sewell said, “This is great news for the City of Birmingham and surrounding communities affected by last year’s devastating tornadoes. This exciting project will provide the necessary infrastructure that will connect residents with jobs, transit and commercial destinations. I applaud the collaborative efforts of all of our regional partners in working together to rebuild our community. This grant reflects the extraordinary outcomes possible when the public and private sector partners together to transform a community. The strength and resilience of Alabamians is a testament to what is truly achievable when communities work together.”
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia said, “This initiative is the result of an unprecedented cooperative effort led by a broad coalition of groups and local governments throughout the Birmingham area. It will have economic development, cultural and recreational benefits throughout our region. This represents visionary thinking, not just because of the ambitious scope of the project but because of the way it has brought so many parties together to work for the common good of all of our citizens.”
Birmingham Mayor William Bell said, “I am grateful to Rep. Sewell and Secretary LaHood for their support of this critical need and our Road to Recovery project. This represents a giant step toward a healthier and safer community not to mention the amount of jobs it will create.”
Birmingham City Council President Roderick Royal said, “Congresswoman Sewell has continued to be a champion for Birmingham and the State of Alabama. This latest effort on behalf of Pratt City is phenomenal. She has certainly earned her keep as a working Congressperson and I’m delighted to be called her friend.”
Birmingham is calling this project the “Road to Recovery.” It is designed to promote Birmingham’s recovery from the April 27, 2011 tornadoes that devastated much of Alabama; including the Pratt City neighborhood of the City of Birmingham. The grant money will be used to upgrade and strengthen the transportation system. The funding will be used to provide residents of Birmingham access to multiple transportation sources and will allow the City of Birmingham to replace damaged roadways and build new streets, sidewalks and bike lanes. More information will be forthcoming in a formal announcement ceremony on Friday, June 22nd.
There were 46 TIGER grants in 33 states and Puerto Rico awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2011. The City of Birmingham had requested $23 million. TIGER grants are competitively award and are generally used for projects that would not have other sources of federal funding available. Mobile also received a TIGER IV grant for improvements at the Port of Mobile.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell is seeking her second term in the U.S. Congress. Rep. Spencer Bachus is seeking his 11th term in the Congress. The two members of Congress both represent Jefferson County.