Troy seeks road funding

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The city completed a grant application Tuesday on what Mayor Jimmy Lunsford hopes will be Troy’s next big project.

As part of federal discretionary money, the Troy City Council gave Lunsford authority to seek a TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant, a cost that came at $12,500 to the city who hired a grant writer to complete the application on deadline.

But, if the city is awarded the $12 million project, Lunsford said it would have paid off.

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With the money, Lunsford said the city will construct an east-west corridor, spanning from George Wallace Drive near Charles Henderson High School to Montgomery Street and back to U.S. Highway 231.

“We did our planning study, and one of the major short comings identified was an east-west corridor across the city,” Lunsford said.

Lunsford said the benefit of such an addition would be seen especially with traffic at Troy University’s home football games.

“It would address some of the big traffic problems we have with ball games at the university,” Lunsford said. “And, when the new arena’s built, that’s going to generate traffic problems. It would help alleviate traffic problems and give a better flow of traffic through the city.”

Lunsford said the grant is one Troy is competing for nationally as part of the federal stimulus package. The total available is $1.5 billion.

Any entity with a large transportation project is eligible for the funding, which are intended for projects that cost a minimum of $20 million or a maximum of $300 million.

But Lunsford said the grant size can be waived, which is what Troy has done in hopes of being funded $12 million for the construction project.

The city could receive an answer any time between now and February 2010.

Typically, Lunsford said the city does hire consultants to assist with grants. But, they usually don’t have to pay for assistance unless the grant is earned.

“With this particular grant application being competitive, nobody would do that,” Lunsford said. “It’s been money well spent, and I feel putting together a great grant application certainly increases our chances.”