Sep 14 2004


FY 2005 Transportation Appropriations Bill Passes Full Committee

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and General Government, announced funding for several projects included in the Transportation, Treasury and General Government Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2005. The bill passed out of full committee today and is now headed to the Senate floor for consideration.

Sen. Shelby said, “I am pleased to announce funding for many important transportation projects in Alabama. Our bill takes a number of steps to improve transportation and mass transit projects throughout the wiregrass and South Alabama.”

$1.625 Million - Andalusia-Opp Airport
Senator Shelby said, “These funds will assist the Andalusia-Opp Airport with acquisition of an Instrument Landing System (ILS) and medium intensity approach lighting system with runway indicator lights. These improvements will allow the airport to operate more often and increase the safety for pilots and passengers who use this airport.”

$1 Million - Runway Lighting Improvements at Mobile Airport
Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased to announce these funds for the Mobile Regional Airport. By providing new medium intensity runway edge lighting and making repairs to the existing runway, safety will be increased at this important airport.”

$1 Million - Corridor Analyses: Gulf Coast High Speed Rail Corridor
Sen. Shelby said, “The promise of high speed rail throughout this area could provide unprecedented economic growth and opportunity. Our bill provides $1 million to continue planning for high speed rail service throughout the Gulf Coast area.”

Specifically, these funds will address the technical issues associated with track conditions, operational impediments, ridership and recommendations for improving travel speeds and frequency of service.

$500,000 - University of South Alabama - Center for the Study of Rural Vehicular Trauma

Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill provides $1 million to continue the important research done at the University of South Alabama.”

This research is designed to collect and analyze data on rural vehicular trauma victims for the purpose of identifying the cause of fatalities. Based on these findings, the Center will develop a trauma system that will utilize available resources to reduce morbidity and mortality for these rural accident victims.

$1 Million - Grade Separation of CSX/US 90 at Hamilton Boulevard
Senator Shelby said, “These funds will help to design and support the construction of a 4-lane grade separation near the intersection of US 90 and Hamilton Boulevard. This funding is important to enhance the safety of this crossing. It is imperative we continue to make our transportation systems safer, and this funding goes directly towards improving areas where railroads cross over busy arteries."

$750,000 - University of South Alabama Center for Coastal Transportation Engineering Research
The Center for Coastal Transporation Engineering Research at USA will develop, conduct, coordinate and disseminate results of the most recent research findings concerning civil engineering design of transportation systems in environmentally-sensitive coastal areas.

$750,000 - Alabama Inland Waters Freight Mobility Study
Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to explore how intermodal transportation, particularly the use of Alabama’s inland waterways, can better enable U.S. manufacturers and producers to compete for new trade opportunities. Greater use of our inland waterways for the transport of freight has the potential to reduce the number of trucks required and therefore alleviate some of the highway congestion motorists currently encounter.”

$500,000 - Center for the Living Arts
The Center for the Living Arts will receive $500,000 to assist with renovations that will allow the center to fulfill its arts and education missions.

$3 Million - Easter Seals Project ACTION
Senator Shelby said, “Easter Seals Project ACTION promotes cooperation between the transportation industry and the disability community to increase mobility for people with disabilities. These funds will assist them in their efforts to further this program.”

$500,000 - Southern Fuel Cell Coalition
These funds will help establish the Southern Fuel Cell Coalition to 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.

The bill directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator to give priority consideration to the following airports:


  • Mobile Regional Airport for a number of improvements including the rehabilitation of the access road to the east ramp of the airport, rehabilitation and drain repairs for the air cargo apron, improvements to runway 18/36 and taxiway “R,” installation of a perimeter security fence, and land acquisition in the runway protection zone.


  • Andalusia-Opp Airport for several improvements including apron and taxiway construction, runway/taxiway extension design, land acquisition, runway overlay, and road relocation.


  • Atmore Municipal Airport for upgrades to the airport’s safety zone and land acquisition for approaches and acquiring additional space for parking aircraft.