City gets #036;900,000 for access road

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 11, 2000

Managing Editor

May 10, 2000 10 PM

A $900,000 grant from the state has potential to bring more jobs to Pike County and to boost the local economy.

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The grant to build an industrial access road has been approved by state officials, and will go a long way toward opening up additional industrial property for expansion of existing industries and development of new ones inside of Troy.

According to Troy Mayor Jimmy C. Lunsford, the project began a year ago to meet the needs of industries along Henderson Highway in Troy. Lunsford said the industries that are there need the access road to help provide vehicles with access to recent expansions.

"This is something we have been working with the state on for about a year now," Lunsford said. "We wanted to provide an access road that would help with industrial growth and development in that area."

The grant that has been obtained will completely fund the project and will require no matching or additional funds from the city.

"Representative (Alan) Boothe has worked with us on this and was instrumental in getting this approved," Lunsford said. "We appreciate the work that he and others put into the project."

Recent expansions at Ansell Industries and at the K&W companies have resulted in additional jobs being created, and officials hope that adding an access road will open up more property for development and will bring more jobs to the area.

Rep. Alan Boothe of Troy, said the road is sorely needed.

"Right now Pike County and Troy are limited in places for industry to locate," Boothe said. "We need to have a place to locate them. The area around Hudson Industries is near capacity and there isn’t a lot of property available."

Boothe said the grant would go a long way to alleviate the problem.

"This will provide us with the potential to expand existing industries and to recruit and place new industry, which is something that has the potential to bring more jobs to Troy and Pike County," Boothe said. "Ultimately, that is what this is all about."

Lunsford agrees.

"This has the potential to pay great dividends," Lunsford said. "We are very fortunate to be getting it."

The road will join Henderson Highway near the Ansell Corporation and will connect to the Pike County Lake Road along a right-of-way already in the possession of the city. The road and property will tie in with already existing utilities including power and water, Lunsford said.

Boothe said the route will allow trucks and employees to access property that cannot currently be reached by automobile.

"This is a good use of state funds," Boothe said, "and it represents one of the largest grants approved by this board this year."

The board, one that determines what industrial access road projects will be funded by the state, consists of State Treasurer Lucy Baxley, State Finance Director Dr. Henry Mabry, and Alabama Department of Transportation Director Mack Roberts.

"They saw the merit in this project and we certainly appreciate their decision," Lunsford said.

The "road" hasn’t been an easy one to travel, Boothe said. Although funding has been requested in the past for the project, the previous administration denied it.

"We are glad to see this thing reach completion," Boothe said.

According to Lunsford, construction on the project will take at least six months, perhaps more depending on various factors. He said he hopes that construction can start soon since all engineering and other work has been handled.