Feb 13 2003


Conference Committee Approves Funding–House and Senate Scheduled to Approve Funding Soon

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, announced important transportation funding for Birmingham.

Sen. Shelby said,"I am pleased that the bill provides significant funding for several projects for Birmingham. These funds reflect a congressional commitment to safe and efficient transportation and infrastructure."

Sen. Shelby said, "This legislation takes a number of steps to improve mass transit in Birmingham and Jefferson County."

Corridor X

The legislation provides an additional $30 million specifically for Corridor X, a 97-mile highway from Fulton, Mississippi to Interstate 65 near Birmingham, Alabama. Corridor X is one of the largest unfinished segments of the Appalachian Development Highway System.

Sen. Shelby said, "I am pleased that we have been able to secure $30 million in funding for Corridor X,” said Shelby. “Finishing construction of Corridor X is one of my highest priorities because it will stimulate economic growth and new jobs in the area and will improve the safety of drivers in northwest Alabama."

Automated Crash Notification System

The bill provides a second installment of $3 million to integrate wireless communications and information technologies into the Birmingham regional emergency medical services (EMS) and hospital trauma systems. The fully integrated system will identify the precise location of a crash event, give emergency room doctors accurate information about the probability and severity of injuries, and expeditiously dispatch fire and rescue personnel to save the lives of motorists. This pilot project is being designed and implemented by the Center for Injury Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and state and local authorities with the support of private industry.

University of Alabama-Birmingham - Injury Control Research Center

Sen. Shelby said, "I am pleased the legislation provided UAB's Injury Center with $2 million. The research at the center will allow us to improve and expand the Alabama Trauma Care System and reduce mortality due to trauma-related injury."

Jefferson County JARC (Job Access and Reverse Commute)

Sen. Shelby said, "Our bill provides $3 million for the Jefferson County Job Access and Reverse Commute program. The program is designed to fund projects that increase access to employment."

Diesel Hybrid Electric Bus for Birmingham, Hoover and Vestavia Hills

Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill provides $1 million for the purchase of diesel hybrid electric buses to provide transportation between downtown Birmingham, Hoover and Vestavia Hills.”

Center for Composites Manufacturing

Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill includes $900,000 for the Center for Composites Manufacturing. The Center is a joint venture between private sector research institutions and the universities in Alabama. The Center will accelerate the development of high quality, low cost composite materials formed from recycled materials for a wide range of transportation and vehicle applications. Establishing this center will facilitate the development and application of this technology and will foster high-tech manufacturing in the area.”

Talladega Municipal Airport

Sen. Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes $1.5 million for an instrument landing system (ILS) at Talladega Municipal Airport. This system will greatly enhance safety at the airport.”

Ruffner Mountain

Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill includes $500,000 for Ruffner Mountain. This funding will allow the Ruffner Mountain nature preserve to establish a nature center facility and will expand the educational opportunities available at Ruffner Mountain.”

Birmingham Transit Corridor Study

Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill includes $2 million for a transit corridor study throughout the Birmingham and Jefferson County area. These funds will be used in conjunction with more than $10 million I have included in previous years’ bills to evaluate the changing needs of the area, and to allow our communities transportation options that will best enhance mobility.”

Gadsden Municipal Airport

The bill included legislation sponsored by Senator Shelby to permit the development of an industrial park adjacent to the airport property in Gadsden.

Sen. Shelby said, “The development of the industrial park is critical to the economic development of the Gadsden area.”

Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee Regional Airport

Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill provides $2 million for land acquisition and development of a master plan for a new regional airport.”