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Fuel tax to fund transportation projects in Autauga and Cherokee counties

Gabby Dance

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Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Tuesday that transportation projects in Autauga and Cherokee counties were selected by the Alabama Department of Transportation as part of the Rebuild Alabama First Year Plan 2020.

Ivey signed the Rebuild Alabama Act into law on March 12. The bill will gradually increase Alabama’s fuel tax over the next three years to fund projects like those in Autauga and Cherokee counties.

In Autauga County, the Alabama Department of Transportation is widening U.S. Highway 82 in Prattville. The project, which the area has been waiting for more than 60 years, will complete the Prattville Bypass, shortening daily commute trips for over 17,000 drivers.

“Industry is a backbone of our economic engine, and I am pleased that Governor Ivey is moving forward with these improvements,” said Sen. Clyde Chambliss.

The highway is a big commuter trail, with loggers from 18 Alabama counties traveling to Prattville’s International Paper plant daily.

“Drivers across Alabama have experienced the troubles of the state’s crumbling infrastructure for far too long,” Ivey said. “In selecting these projects in Autauga and Cherokee counties, we’re showing that stagnation is no longer the case in Alabama.”

The department is also widening Cherokee County’s U.S. Highway 411.

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“The widening of U.S. 411 has been long-awaited by the folks of Cherokee and Etowah counties, and it is vital for the economic development of this area,” said Sen. Andrew Jones. “As we begin to see dividends from the Rebuild Alabama Act, I once again thank Governor Ivey for her leadership in its passage and look forward to continually working together in the future.”

The county is currently one of 16 Alabama counties without a four-lane route to an interstate.

“Four lane access to the interstate will greatly increase economic development opportunities for new and existing industry in our area,” said Rep. Ginny Shaver.

 

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