Nov 18 2005

SHELBY ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR WEST ALABAMA

Senate Approves FY 06 Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), a senior member of the Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced Conference Committee approval of important funding for several projects in West Alabama included in the Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, HUD Appropriations Bill. The bill passed the Senate and now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

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

Tuscaloosa Federal Building - $34.5 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased this bill provides $34.5 million for continued construction of a federal building in Tuscaloosa. It is my hope that this building will anchor the city’s downtown revitalization efforts.”

Biodiesel Hybrid Bus Research - $1 million

The bill includes $1 million 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. Senator Shelby said, “This funding will allow the University to establish a comprehensive research program to conduct cutting-edge research and to educate scientists and engineers in this growing industry.”

City of Guin Economic Development - $300,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for economic development activities including planning and development of an industrial park in Guin. I am pleased these funds were included in the bill for this important project.”

Fayette County Industrial Park - $400,000

Senator Shelby said, “This bill includes $400,000 for continued development of the Fayette County industrial park. These funds, which will allow for acquisition of additional property, will spur economic growth for this area.”

Southern Fuel Cell Coalition - $1.66 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the Southern Fuel Cell Coalition which will serve the Southeastern United States. The coalition will work to tackle the challenges and opportunities that face fuel cell development and hydrogen infrastructure in the South.”

Alabama Area Agencies on Aging - $200,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased this bill includes $200,000 for van replacement for the Alabama Area Agencies on Aging. These critical resources allow this agency to continue providing much needed transportation options for Alabama’s senior citizens.”

Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind - $400,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) to construct a new Regional Center in Tuscaloosa. AIDB, founded in 1858, is the nation’s most comprehensive organization serving individuals who are deaf, blind and multi-disabled and their families. Last year, AIDB served over 11,000 people in their other regional centers in Alabama.”

Delta Regional Transportation Development Program - $14.3 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the bill includes $14.3 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 Transportation Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Fuel Cell Research Program - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “The bill includes $2 million 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 - $2.062 million

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. I am pleased we were able to include the funds for this facility as it will truly benefit the students, faculty and staff of the University.”

•University of Alabama Transit System - $344,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased these funds were included in the bill to provide the University of Alabama the resources to develop a transit system. This will provide a full scale, intermodal system for the transport of individuals around campus and in the surrounding Tuscaloosa community. These funds 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 - $1.374 million

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.”

•Interstate 85 Extension - $20 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that this legislation includes critical funding for planning, engineering, design and construction of the East-West highway corridor stretching from Montgomery to Cuba, AL. The extension of I-85 in this area will bring significant economic development and new opportunities to a region of the state that has not yet reached its potential.”

•Tuscaloosa Bypass - $6 million

Senator Shelby said, “This bill provides $30 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.”

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