Sep 03 2003


Subcommittee Passes Transportation Appropriations Bill

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and General Government announced approval of important transportation funding for Birmingham.

Sen. Shelby said, "I am pleased that we were able to include a significant increase in highway funding for the State of Alabama. Alabama will receive an estimated $610 million in highway funds for Fiscal Year 2004, which represents an increase of $54.4 million from last year’s funding level."

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

Interstate Designation
Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased that the bill includes my provision to designate Corridor X between Tupelo, Mississippi, and Birmingham, Alabama as future Interstate Route I-22. The Interstate highway will benefit the region in its efforts to promote economic development."

Ruffner Mountain
Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill includes $1 million 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.”

Lake Martin Regional Industrial Park Access Road - Kellyton, Alabama
Sen. Shelby said, “This bill provides $500,000 for the construction of a roadway from U.S. Highway 280 to the Lake Martin Regional Industrial Park in Kellyton.”

Interstate 20 Improvements
Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill includes $3.5 million for safety improvements and widening of Interstate 20. The funding will provide for the addition of lanes and median barriers to the section of Interstate 20 from Moody Interchange to Coosa River. This stretch of road has been identified as one of the most dangerous in the state and this funding will ensure that ongoing construction will be completed quickly.”

Valleydale Road at Interstate 65 Improvements
Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill provides $5 million for the construction of an interchange and other improvements to Interstate 65 at Valleydale Road. Senator Shelby previously secured funding for this project and the additional money will allow the project to continue.”

Birmingham North Beltline
Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill includes $2 million for the purchase of right-of-way land acquisition for the future Birmingham Northern Beltline.”

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."

Southern Consortium for Injury Biomechanics
Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill provides $2 million to continue the important highway safety research conducted by the Southern Consortium for Injury Biomechanics.”

Gadsden Municipal Airport
Senator Shelby said, "I am plesed our bill includes $1.5 million for an instrument landing system (ILS) at Gadsden Municipal Airport. This system will greatly enhance safety at the airport."

Bessemer Regional Airport
Senator Shelby Said, "The bill provides $250,000 for airfield lights at Bessemer Regional Airprot. The funding will improve the airport operations to better serve the Birmingham region."

Jefferson County JARC (Job Access and Reverse Commute)
Sen. Shelby said, "Our bill provides $4 million for the Jefferson County Job Access and Reverse Commute program. The program is designed to fund projects that increase access to employment."

Birmingham Transit Corridor Study
Sen. Shelby said, “Our bill includes $6 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.”

Highway 79/Greenway Project
Sen. Shelby said, “The City of Tarrant will receive a $500,000 for the Highway 79 Corridor and Greenway Project. The funds will be used for construction of a greenway connecting with other municipal facilities and open space areas including a flood mitigation area that is being transformed into a city park at the north edge of the City of Tarrant. The park will serve as a key access point for properties along Five Mile Creek including a 588 acre nature preserve. These funds will allow the City of Tarrant to design and construct a multi-use trail along the banks of Five Mile Creek and to continue their development of this area.”