Calera secures TAP grant for downtown improvements

Published 11:37 am Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

CALERA – The city of Calera has recently secured funding that will be put toward streetscape improvements in downtown Calera.

Thanks to their successful application for the Transportation Alternatives Set-aside Program (TAP) grant provided by the Alabama Department of Transportation, the city plans to move forward on improvements along the section of Highway 25 that rests between Highway 31 and the railroad tracks which is commonly recognized as Main Street Calera.

According to the current plans, improvements along Main Street will include green spaces and curb and gutter improvements that will aid in drainage. The grant will also help the city make repairs and needed replacements to the area’s sidewalks in ways that will ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The project’s benefits also include additional on-street parking and the installation of pedestrian crosswalks, contributing to safer pedestrian movement within the downtown business district,” read an official release from the city.

The proposed improvements, which mainly focus on additions to Main Street, also feature plans for improvements on Highway 31 that will continue until the intersection with 17th Avenue. Those improvements are meant to include a sidewalk replacement running the length of the eastern side and a pedestrian crosswalk.

City officials are open however, that the main priority will be the improvements along Main Street and that the work on Highway 31, which remains in the plan, is contingent on pricing.

As stipulated, the grant operates on an 80/20 cost-sharing scale, which leaves the city of Calera responsible for 20 percent of the project’s cost. As currently estimated, that will leave Calera responsible for $200,000 while the remaining 80 percent, $800,000, will be covered by the grant.

Once finished, these improvements will further add to the revitalization effort that is currently underway in downtown Calera and will serve to coalesce with the improvements to the Calera Courtyard that are currently under construction.

The city is currently seeking to secure additional funding for potential pedestrian railroad crossings at the intersection of Hwy 31 and Main St.