Mar 10 2009

Shelby Announces Transportation Funding for South Alabama

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced funding for several projects in South Alabama included in the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009.  Following today’s action by the Senate, the legislation will now go to the President for his signature.

Mobile Regional Airport Rehabilitation of Runway 18/36 and Taxiway “R” - $1.9 Million
Currently, the Mobile Regional Airport’s runway and taxiway surfaces are unraveling, which creates a hazard for aircraft traffic.  Furthermore, the runway and taxiway are currently not strong enough to handle the weight of aircraft that will taxi from the airport to the EADS CASA aircraft maintenance and assembly complex.

“Economically, Mobile has made enormous strides in recent years,” said Shelby.  “It is critical that the airport be prepared to meet the needs of the new businesses that have located in the area.”

Baldwin County Bus and Bus Facilities Project - $950,000
The Baldwin County bus system will use this funding to add steel benches and coverings at each of the new bus stops in the county.

“As gas prices continue to rise, more and more people are turning to public transportation as an alternative,” said Shelby.  “It is important that bus systems expand to meet increasing need and provide appropriate shelter for people waiting for buses.”

Alabama Senior Transportation Program - $950,000
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.”

In addition, the bill provides funding for the following projects included in Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), the Highway and Transit Reauthorization Bill.

Alabama State Docks - $5.485 Million
Preliminary data indicates that Alabama will need to expand its current dockside facilities that handle and store containerized cargo.

“The Alabama State Docks have the potential to become one of America’s most economically viable ports due to their proximity to emerging trade routes on the Gulf of Mexico,” said Shelby.  “This continued funding is essential to modernize this important economic asset to our state through the construction of an intermodal containerized freight terminal.”

Mobile County Commission Bus Project - $137,000
This funding will be used to improve Mobile County’s bus system.

“The Mobile County Commission will use this funding to improve its bus project,” said Shelby.  “Convenient and inexpensive travel is important for residents and is a great draw for tourists.  A modern bus system will help improve Mobile’s economy.”

Gulf Shores Community Bus Project - $274,000
This project will support infrastructure improvements to the Gulf Shores bus system.

“The Gulf Shores Community will use this funding for infrastructure improvements to its bus system,” said Shelby.  “This funding will provide an important transportation option for those that live, work and vacation in the Gulf Shores area.  A modern bus system will help improve the Gulf Shore’s economy.”

Interstate 10 Connector - $4.25 Million
The I-10 Connector will connect Dothan and the Wiregrass area with Interstate 10 in Florida.

“This funding will allow us to continue construction on this important project to connect the Wiregrass area with Florida,” said Shelby.  “The I-10 connector will greatly improve access and traffic flow throughout southeastern Alabama.”