Two state lawmakers expressed gratitude over recent news that the U.S. Department of Transportation will fund bridge replacements that both say are sorely needed.
State senators Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, and Randy Price, R-Opelika, both issued statements Thursday thanking U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for setting aside $10.8 million to replace three sets of bridges along Interstate 85, near exit 60.
“I appreciate U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao listening to Sen. Shelby and Rep. Rogers and making these improvements to I-85 a priority,” Whatley said in the press release. “As the link between Montgomery, Auburn and Atlanta, I-85 is an integral part of Alabama’s infrastructure system. The area around Exit 60 has a lot of traffic congestion, and these new bridges should help create better flow and improve safety for drivers.”
The three pairs of bridges along I-85 in Opelika are to be replaced through a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, part of the $225 million being granted through the Competitive Highway Bridge Program for 20 projects in 18 states, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation press release.
The release notes that three of the six bridges are rated as being “poor” condition, and the other three are rated as “fair.”
“I appreciate the hard work that Sen. Richard Shelby and Rep. Mike Rogers have done on this project — they have been great to work with on the federal side,” Price said in the release. “One of the best investments we can do, as a state, is create better and safer infrastructure, and on this project, I am glad we were able to get some federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation.”