JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala., (WIAT) — When the Jefferson County Commission passed the 2020 fiscal budget it set aside more than $58 million for roads and transportation, a $9 million increase over the fiscal year 2019 funding.
That increase in funding is important to support the department continuing to implement its five-year plan to catch up on much-needed road improvements.
Goals include over 150 miles of paving, replacement or rehabilitation of four bridges, reconstruction of 20 major drainage culverts and a variety of other infrastructure improvement projects.
This maintenance is overdue as a result of the loss of occupational tax and bankruptcy. Years of inattention have cause pavement conditions to degrade well past the point where normal maintenance is sufficient and repair is requiring much more extensive removal and reconstruction to restore the roadway.
The department of transportation is working to implement a pavement management system to optimize budget decisions. Much like replacing the shingles on the house before leaks develop, it is important to shift from rehabilitation to preventative maintenance to provide drivers a better road surface with fewer cracks, ruts and potholes and stretch maintenance dollars further. To do that, though, it is necessary to get the old and failed roads back up to standard.
To call and report a pothole in Jefferson County call (205) 325-5141.