MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — You’ve likely seen the signs along highways throughout the state, indicating the route you’re traveling is part of the Rebuild Alabama Act of 2019, which raised the state’s gas tax in order to repair and expand road and bridge infrastructure.
The act set aside $10 million in grant money for local cities and counties to apply for each year. On top of that, the Alabama Department of Transportation uses another grant program which will give about $30 million in grants this year.
Local cities and counties can apply for grants from the Rebuild Alabama Act in two ways. One is designed to pay for work along state and federal highways in a local community and the other for any road or bridge work in that community.
“You have counties in some parts of the state that went underfunded for so long they began to convert some of their paved road back into crushed aggregate or dirt roads,” said Tony Harris with the Alabama Department of Transportation.
In announcing the latest round of grants, Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement indicating her belief in the importance of the act:
“More and more communities and cities across our state are seeing new road and bridge projects in their areas, and I look forward to that continuing. When we invest in our roads and bridges, we are investing in our people and our future.”
It’s an investment Harris believes will pay off.
“It’s allowing them to do thing they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. In some parts of the state, it means they can be more competitive with economic development,” Harris said.
The governor’s office said another round of rebuild Alabama grants will be awarded later this year.