Jul 29 2005

UPDATE: SHELBY ANNOUNCES MAJOR ALABAMA ROAD PROJECTS IN HIGHWAY BILL

PLEASE NOTE: The Senate passed H.R. 3 this evening by a vote of 91 to 4. The bill is now headed to the President’s desk for his signature.

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) today announced conference committee approval of H.R. 3, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The House is expected to vote on final passage tonight, and the Senate will consider the bill following House approval. This legislation, commonly referred to as the Highway Bill, authorizes $286.5 billion in funding for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, transit programs, and other purposes. Senator Shelby was a member of the Conference Committee.

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased we were able to reach agreement on this important piece of legislation. I believe that reauthorizing the Highway Bill is essential to developing and improving infrastructure which leads to economic development and job creation. This bill provides guidance and important funding for cities and states across the country to plan and construct important road, bridge, and highway safety projects in order to meet the needs of our growing communities.”

“Passage of the Highway Bill is significant as it provides Alabama with the tools to begin planning and construction of major road projects as well as maintain progress on ongoing projects. I am also pleased that we were able to include funding for a number of important regional projects as they will improve the state’s infrastructure on a large scale and have tremendous economic impact in the years to come,” Shelby added.

The projects included in this legislation will be disbursed to the State over the life of the bill.

Interstate 85 Extension - $100 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.”

Interstate 10 Connector - $20 million

Senator Shelby said, “The bill includes $20 million for the I-10 Connector. This funding will allow us to continue construction on this important project to connect the Dothan and Wiregrass area with Interstate 10 in Florida and will greatly improve access and traffic flow throughout southeastern Alabama.”

Tuscaloosa Bypass - $30 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.”

Delta Regional Transportation Development Program - $40 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the bill includes $40 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.”

Appalachian Development Highway System - $2.35 billion

Senator Shelby said, “This bill includes $2.35 billion for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS). The ADHS was designed to generate economic development, supplement the interstate system, connect Appalachia to the interstate system, and provide access to areas within the Region as well as to markets in the rest of the nation. Alabama benefits from this program, and I am pleased these funds were included in the bill.”

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