Jul 12 2001


Subcommittee Passes Transportation Appropriations Bill

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, announced Subcommittee approval of important transportation funding for Birmingham.

Sen. Shelby said,"I am pleased that the bill provides significant funding for several projects for Birmingham. These funds reflect the Senate's commitment to safe and efficient transportation and infrastructure."

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

"In addition, the Birmingham transit corridor will receive $4 million from the FTA," continued Shelby. "These funds will allow the regional planning commission to proceed with alternatives analysis, preliminary engineering, and design work toward construction of a light rail system in Birmingham."

Center for Composites Manufacturing

The bill provides $1.1 million for the Center for Composites Manufacturing is a joint venture between private sector research institutions and the universities in Alabama and the region. The Center will accelerate the development of high quality, low cost composite materials formed from recycled materials for a wide range of transportation and vehicle applications. Sen. Shelby said, "Establishing this center will facilitate the development and application of this technology and will foster high-tech manufacturing in the area."

Automated Crash Notification System

The bill provides $2.5 million to integrate wireless communications and information technologies into the Birmingham regional emergency medical services (EMS) and hospital trauma systems. The fully integrated system will identify the precise location of a crash event, predict the probability and severity of injuries, and expeditiously dispatch fire and rescue personnel in a more rationale use of resources. This pilot project is being designed and implemented by the Center for Injury Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and state and local authorities with the support of private industry.

University of Alabama-Birmingham - Center for Injury Sciences

Sen. Shelby said, "I am pleased the legislation provided UAB's Injury Center with $2.5 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."

Appalachian Development Highway System

The 2002 Transportation Appropriations bill provides $350 million for the Appalachian Development Highway System. The Appalachian Development Highway System was created in 1965 to link the under-developed Appalachian region to the National Interstate Highway System. The system is now a 3,025-mile network of in a 13 state region.

Included in this highway system is Corridor X, a 97-mile highway from Fulton, Mississippi to Interstate Route 65 near Birmingham, Alabama. Corridor X is one of the largest unfinished segments of the Appalachian Development Highway System.

Sen. Shelby said, "I am pleased that the bill provides $350 million in funding for the Appalachian Development Highway System and for Corridor X. Finishing construction of Corridor X is one of my highest priorities because it will stimulate economic growth and new jobs in the area and will improve the safety of drivers in northwest Alabama."

Interchange at Interstate 65 and Vallydale Road Sen. Shelby said, "Our bill provides $10 million for improvements to the interchange at Interstate 65 And Vallydale Road to smooth traffic flow at this busy intersection."

Jefferson County JARC (Job Access and Reverse Commute) Sen. Shelby said, "Our bill provides $2 million for the Job Access and Reverse Commute program. The program is designed to fund projects that increase access to employment."

Talladega Scenic Highway

Sen. Shelby said, "Our legislation provides $5 million for improvements to the Talladega Scenic Highway."

Little River Canyon National Reserve

Sen. Shelby said, "This bill provides $500,000 for improvements to the roadway at Little River Canyon National Reserve."

Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority Buses

Sen. Shelby said, "Our legislation provides $2 million for the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority so that they may purchase and maintain buses."