Jul 20 2006

SHELBY ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR THE BIRMINGHAM AREA AND WEST ALABAMA

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), a senior member of the Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced funding for several projects in the Birmingham area and West Alabama included in the fiscal year 2007 Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. This bill was approved by the committee and will now go to the Senate floor for consideration.

 

“This bill provides funding for important projects across the state,” said Senator Shelby. “These funds reflect our commitment to safe and efficient transportation, infrastructure development, and economic growth activities throughout Alabama.”

 

Birmingham International Airport Runway Extension - $3.5 million

This funding will allow for the extension of the runway 6/24 to 12,000 feet at Birmingham International Airport.

 

“The runway extension will greatly enhance cargo capabilities at the Birmingham International Airport and provide a new business opportunity for the region,” said Senator Shelby. “When completed, the airport will be able to serve a fully-loaded 747 cargo aircraft for international travel.”

 

Tuscaloosa Federal Building in Alabama -$6 million

In fiscal year 2006 Senator Shelby secured $34.5 million for the construction of a new federal building. This additional $6 million rounds out the current estimate from the General Services Administration for the construction of this important facility.

 

“The new Tuscaloosa Federal Building will replace the current antiquated facility,” said Senator Shelby. “It will provide a centralized location for area residents and provide them better access to Federal agencies housed in the building. This state of the art facility will serve as the anchor to Tuscaloosa’s downtown revitalization efforts.”

 

Greene County Courthouse Square – $400,000

“The Greene County Courthouse Square, located in the center of Eutaw’s business district, is listed as one of the ten most endangered historic sites in Alabama,” said Senator Shelby. “We must work to preserve Alabama’s historical treasures not only for the protection of our history, but to spur tourism and economic development in places like Greene County.”

 

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park Science and Technology Enhancements – $200,000

 

“Tannehill Park’s museum provides 20,000 of Alabama’s school children who visit each year with an understanding of our state’s industrial heritage,” said Shelby. “Tannehill is an important educational tool and asset for Alabama. These funds will enhance the learning experience and ensure the preservation of the various exhibits and artifacts for generations to come.”

 

 

Blount County Highway 79 Widening -$2 million

Blount County will purchase land to expand State Highway 79 to four lanes in an area one mile north of the County line.

 

“The expansion of this highway will allow commuters to more efficiently and safely travel through Blount County,” said Shelby. “Highway 79 serves as a primary route to and from the Birmingham area and is a heavily traveled corridor through Blount County’s ever expanding community.”

 

Alabama Association of Area Agencies on Aging– $1 million

“Many of our state’s seniors are without the resources necessary to drive to their medical visits, the grocery store, or to see family and friends,” said Senator Shelby. “The Alabama Association of Area Agencies on Aging provides the essential service of helping Alabama’s elderly get where they need to go.”

 

Delta Regional Area Transportation Authority - $20 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the bill includes $20 million for the Delta Region Transportation Development Program to provide federal funds for transportation infrastructure development projects in Delta Regional Authority designated counties. These funds will help facilitate multi-state transportation planning and corridor development for this impoverished area of the country. The link between transportation infrastructure and economic development is unmistakable. Establishing a transportation program specifically for the Delta Region is an integral step towards promoting economic development, raising the standard of living, and improving quality of life in this traditionally impoverished region.”

 

In addition, the bill provides funding for the following projects included in SAFETEA-LU, the Highway and Transit Reauthorization Bill.

 

University of Alabama at Birmingham Intermodal Facility - $1.666 million

Senator Shelby said, “Due to expansion of the UAB Research District, funds for a new intermodal facility will provide UAB with much needed space to accommodate the visitor and patient growth of this area of the University.”

 

Injury Control Research Center at UAB - $450,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am proud to have been able to play a role in providing funds to the Injury Control Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Center's work has provided much-needed data allowing us to better understand and someday prevent catastrophic and other severe injuries sustained during motor vehicle crashes.”

 

City of Birmingham Intermodal Facility (Phase II) - $1,591,280

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased to announce these funds for phase II of Birmingham’s intermodal facility. These funds will be used to expand the Morris Avenue bus transfer facility in downtown Birmingham into a full service multimodal center.”

 

University of Alabama at Birmingham Trauma Care System Research and Development - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “This project will enhance and expand the existing infrastructure of the Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services System and will serve to facilitate the development of a comprehensive statewide trauma system.”

 

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind Bus Project - $119,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) for a bus project. This will assist AIDB in its efforts to more safely transport the individuals they serve. AIDB, founded in 1858, is the nation’s most comprehensive organization serving individuals who are deaf, blind and multi-disabled and their families.”

 

American Village - $80,256

Senator Shelby said, “This bill includes $80,256 for the American Village in Montevallo. These funds will be used for the construction of a closed loop access road and bus lanes.”

 

University of Alabama Transportation Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Fuel Cell Research Program - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “The bill includes $500,000 in funding for the Transportation Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Fuel Cell Research Program through the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies (CAVT) at The University of Alabama. This funding will allow the University to maintain and grow its comprehensive research program to conduct cutting-edge research and to educate scientists and engineers in this growing industry.”

 

University of Alabama Intermodal Facility - $2,142,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the construction of an intermodal facility to ease on-campus congestion. The proximity of this facility to on-campus housing will also provide for a safer and more secure campus for students. This facility will truly benefit the students, faculty and staff of the University.”

 

University of Alabama Transit System - $357,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds were included in the bill to provide the University of Alabama the resources to develop a transit system, which will provide a full scale, intermodal system for the transport of individuals around campus and in the surrounding Tuscaloosa community. The transit system will enhance safety and lessen congestion on campus, while also meeting the needs of this growing college community.”

 

University Transportation Center at the University of Alabama - $550,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for a University Transportation Center at the University of Alabama, which will conduct projects involving transportation education, research and technology.”

 

City of Tuscaloosa Intermodal Facility - $1,428,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will provide downtown Tuscaloosa with an intermodal facility to accommodate increased traffic in the downtown area. This facility will serve as an important complement to the ongoing downtown revitalization project in Tuscaloosa.”

 

Tuscaloosa Bypass - $6,250,000

Senator Shelby said, “This bill provides $6.25 million for construction of a corridor connecting the Black Warrior Parkway Bridge with Rice Mine Road and Interstate 59. This transportation route will improve access and improve traffic flow throughout the metropolitan Tuscaloosa area.”