Downtown improvements in full swing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 3, 2002

News Editor

Anyone traveling to downtown Troy during the last few weeks can’t help but notice all of the work going on down there.

The city has been putting into action a Transportation Enhancement Grant they received from the Alabama Department of Transportation (DOT) for repair to the cracked and broken sidewalks downtown.

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"In order to make the repairs to the sidewalks we had to tear up and repave some streets," said Troy City Clerk Alton Starling. He said the age of the sidewalks was the main cause for the needed repairs, which are expected to be completed by the end of the week.

The $200,000 grant the city received for the project requires a $40,000 cash match. When it’s all over seven streets in the city will have been affected by the project, with portions of them being re-paved.

Starling said DOT is also looking into resurfacing the Montgomery Street part of U.S. Highway 29, as part of a state project.

Another grant the city received which is in full swing is a $50,000 Recreational Trails Grant being used to enhance Murphree Park. Starling said the $12,500 match required by the city is being done in the form of in-kind services. He said the project is adding walking trails and parking spaces to the park. "It’s going to be really nice out there when we are finished," he added.

Starling said the city has also been doing work at the airport with he help of grant monies they received. He said the runway has been extended and a fence has been put up to keep deer and other wildlife off of airport property.

Another DOT project has added lighting up Highway 231 North heading out of the city. Starling said the DOT is considering the possibility of building a road straight from Highway 231 to the airport. He said if that is accomplished they are looking at extending the lighting from Troy to the airport.

"We’re hoping if this happens we can get private plane owners from Montgomery to relocate to Troy because of the two cities’ close proximity," said Starling.

A main part of Starling’s job is helping the city apply and attain grants for everything from street improvements to enhancing local industry. He said the city recently applied for a Railroad Spur Improvements Grant through the Department of Transportation to add a railroad spur near the National Warehouses plant located on North Three Notch Street. He said the company has indicated they will pay most of the matching portion of the $287,000 grant with the city providing $47,000 of in-kind services.