Sep 12 2007

Senate Passes Transportation Funding for South Alabama

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), a senior member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced funding for several projects in South Alabama included in the fiscal year 2008 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.  This legislation was approved by the Senate and will now go to a conference committee with the House of Representatives.

Renovation of the Wave Transit System Bus Maintenance and Operations Building in Mobile - $2 Million

The Transit System’s bus maintenance and operations building is an older facility that needs to be updated and renovated.  The funding will replace the flooring to provide a safer environment for workers and reduce the possibility of slip-and-fall accidents.   In addition, the funds will be used to provide a more efficient environment to repair, maintain and clean the system’s buses.

“Employees at the Wave Transit System deserve to work in an environment that is safe and free from preventable on-the-job accidents,” said Shelby.  “As Alabamians work to reduce their fuel costs, the bus system is more important than ever.  It is vital that the citizens of Mobile, who rely on the Wave Transit system to commute to work and medical appointments and visit family and friends do so with confidence that the system has been properly maintained.”

Alabama Association of Area Agencies on Aging - $1 Million

There are 13 Area Agencies on Aging in Alabama, each of which provide important services to the elderly across Alabama.

“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.  “The Alabama Association of Area Agencies on Aging 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 - $5.173 Million

Preliminary data indicates that Alabama will need to expand its current dockside facilities that handle and store containerized cargo.

“The Alabama State Docks has the potential to become one of America’s most economically viable ports due to its 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 - $129,000

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 a great draw for tourists.  A modern bus system will help improve Mobile’s tourism economy.”

Gulf Shores Community Bus Project - $259,000

This project will support infrastructure improvements to the Gulf Shores bus system.

“This funding will provide an important transportation option for those who live, work and vacation in the Gulf Shores area,” said Shelby.  “As concern for rising gas prices grows, public transportation becomes a very attractive option for travel within a community.”

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.”