CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — On Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that she awarded a sizable grant to improve a road in Cullman County. 

The Community Development Block Grant – allotted in the amount of $200,000 – will rehabilitate, reconstruct and resurface Cullman County Road 222, which is the only access point to North Alabama Fabricating Co. (NAFCO) and Topre America Corp. 

Cullman County Road 222 is a two-lane road that was constructed over 75 years ago as a farm-to-market road. In 2016, its interchange with I-65 was opened, which is about two miles from the companies. Both NAFCO and Topre rely on the interstate system to transport their products.

NAFCO produces conveyor systems and energy equipment for industries worldwide. The business is currently planning a $9 million expansion, which will add more weight and traffic to the road. In addition, Topre transports and receives high volumes of steel, which also takes a toll on the road, local officials said. 

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grant from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“ADECA realizes the importance of this road improvement project to the expansion of NAFCO and continued traffic use by Topre, and we fully support Governor Ivey in this effort,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.

Gov. Ivey notified Cullman Mayor Wood Jacobs that the funding had been approved. Cullman is providing $300,000 in additional funds for the project while funding from other sources is expected.

“Encouraging new jobs and employment opportunities for Alabamians remains a mainstay of my administration,” Gov. Ivey said. “I congratulate North Alabama Fabricating Co. on its growth and expansion, and I commend the city of Cullman for helping make this project a reality.”