Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday announced that more than 250 new road and bridge improvement projects will move forward in rural counties thanks to the Rural Assistance Match Program.
The program, known as RAMP, was created by Senate Bill 192, which Bentley signed into law last month.
SB 192 authorizes the Alabama Highway Finance Corp. to issue up to $25 million of bonds to pay the state’s cost of road and bridge projects or the matching amount counties and cities would pay for local projects. The bonds will be secured by a portion of motor-vehicle license taxes and registration fees.
RAMP funding will complement Bentley’s ongoing statewide road improvement initiative called the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, or ATRIP, which is a $1 billion, three-year effort funded by Alabama’s issuance of grant anticipation revenue vehicle bonds, or Garvees.
Proceeds of the ATRIP bonds are being used to construct federal aid-eligible road and bridge projects across the state where cities and counties are expected to provide at least 20% of construction costs.
RAMP, passed by the Legislature, will assist largely rural communities that have not received ATRIP funds to date because they could not afford the required matching payment.
“Now, thanks to RAMP funding, every single county in Alabama will have better roads,” Bentley said. “As we improve roads and bridges in rural areas, we’ll make those communities more attractive to companies that are looking for places to build and expand. These companies need good infrastructure to transport their products; that’s exactly what ATRIP is giving them.”
In December, the Alabama Federal Aid Highway Finance Authority priced $327.9 million of bonds as the first tranche of the ATRIP program.