Helena awarded over $1.6 million in ATRIP-II grant funding from Gov. Ivey

Published 10:57 am Friday, January 21, 2022

By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

HELENA – On Wednesday, Jan. 20 Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Transportation announced that more than $40 million in state transportation funding is being awarded to cities and counties for various road and bridge projects, including the city of Helena.

“I am excited to say that Governor Kay Ivey just announced that Helena has been awarded over $1.6 [million] in ATRIP-II grant funding to continue pushing our city’s infrastructure forward,” Helena Mayor Brian Puckett wrote in a Facebook announcement. “This project will widen HWY 261 from the elementary school to the main commercial intersection along with adding sidewalks to that stretch of road. Creating a more walkable city continues to be one of my high priorities.”

The funding is made available through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program-II, a program created by the Rebuild Alabama Act. The Rebuild Alabama Act requires ATRIP-II to be an annual program setting aside a minimum of $30 million off the top of ALDOT’s share of new gas tax revenue for projects of local interest on the state highway system.

“While our work is far from over, we have made significant progress in improving our roads and bridges thanks to Rebuild Alabama. During my state of the state address, I shared that on top of local improvements, the state has administered projects in almost all 67 counties, and I am thrilled to be announcing additional awards today,” Ivey said. “I look forward to continue putting every single penny of these funds to good use for the people of Alabama.”

“I want to applaud the mayor’s vision for thinking outside the box,” State Rep. Kenneth Paschal said. “I appreciate the Mayor of Helena Brian Puckett’s leadership for seeking alternative funding to enhance the efforts to improve the infrastructure in Helena and House District 73.”

Paschal said he was honored to play a role in the grant request by writing a support letter to the governor and sharing the House District 73 road priorities with ALDOT.

“[I am] also proud this project will enhance the safety of drivers, their children and families in House District 73,” Paschal said. “Roads and infrastructure improvement are one of the priorities for the constituents in District 73.  It is a great privilege to represent the citizens in District 73 in the Alabama House of Representatives.”

Puckett thanked the governor and ALDOT for allowing Helena to benefit from the grant funding.

“We are proud of the trail system we are building throughout the city, and this project will continue to enhance that aspect as well by adding a sidewalk for that entire stretch of Hwy 261,” Puckett said. “A walkable community is a connected community. Helena prides itself on the small town feel, and the continued focus of increasing connectivity and walkability will help maintain that culture even as we continue to grow.”