U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced Senate approval of the fiscal year 2010 Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Included in this bill is funding for several important projects throughout Alabama. Following today’s action by the Senate, the bill will now go joint House and Senate conference committee.
Tuscaloosa Downtown Revitalization - $5 Million
This funding will complete implementation of the City of Tuscaloosa’s Downtown Urban Renewal Plan. With the construction of the new federal building in the heart of downtown and the continued growth of the University of Alabama, this project is vital to economic development and job creation in West Alabama. This project will involve property acquisition, business and residential relocations, demolition, and utility rehabilitation.
“This ongoing project will have a significant impact on Tuscaloosa’s economy,” said Shelby. “The development will bring more businesses, activity, and economic investment to the area and make Tuscaloosa a better place to live and work. As the downtown area’s economy continues to grow, it is critical that the downtown roadways are expanded to meet the increased usage and ease the traffic issues often associated with growth.”
Lanett Municipal Airport Runway Construction - $5 Million
A new runway is necessary to support the region’s growing aviation needs due the construction of a new automobile manufacturing plant 4 miles away in West Point, Georgia.
“A longer runway is needed at Lanett Municipal Airport to boost economic development in the area and attract tier one auto parts suppliers, who will need an adequate airport to support increased business,” said Shelby. “If this airport is able to support greater air traffic it will be an incredible economic development and job creation tool for a region in Alabama that has recently lost numerous jobs.”
Alabama Senior Transportation Program - $2 Million
Many seniors no longer drive and have little access to public transportation. As the need for efficient and affordable transportation grows, Alabama’s elderly population increasingly needs assistance in going from one place to the next.
“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 Shelby. “This program provides the essential service of helping Alabama’s elderly get where they need to go.”
Streetscape for City of Tuscaloosa - $2 Million
A new federal building will be constructed in downtown Tuscaloosa that will significantly expand development and growth within the city. This funding will be used to improve surrounding roadway areas to reduce congestion and traffic accidents, thereby increasing overall safety in the downtown area.
“The City of Tuscaloosa will use this funding to make needed improvements to the downtown roadways,” said Shelby. “These improvements are an important complement to the ongoing downtown revitalization project in Tuscaloosa.”