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City, county seek grants…again

Local agencies weren’t pleased with the results of a federal transportation grant, but they are hoping for more success in a second round.

Both the city of Troy and the Pike County Road Department applied late last year for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant to support local projects.

For Troy, that project would have been to 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.

The goal was to ease traffic on George Wallace Drive, particularly during Troy University’s home football games.

It took $12,500 of city money to apply for these funds, and Lunsford said he was disappointed the funding wasn’t awarded.

“Not getting funded the first time was really disappointing because we knew we had a good project,” he said.

The Pike County Road Department was seeking its share of the pie in a joint TIGER grant application with other county road departments from around the state.

If awarded, Pike County was set to receive around $1.8 million to repair six local bridges.

All the bridges now have posted weight limits, meaning only smaller vehicles can drive over them.

These bridges are the Indian Creek Bridge on County Road 2214; the Beaver Pond Branch Bridge on County Road 5521 near Mt. Carmel; an unnamed bridge on County Road 3302 near Swindall Road; the Big Creek Bridge on County Road 2228; another unnamed bridge on County Road 3338; and the Mill Creek bridge on County Road 1116 near the Mt. Moriah community.

“We have completed plans for them, we just don’t have the funding,” said Pike County Engineer Russell Oliver.

In a time when the road department has had to sell its equipment to keep from borrowing money, Oliver said those projects will have to be placed on hold.

“We’ve been trying to replace those bridges for a long time. We started developing plans to replace them around 2001 during the Garvey Bond Bridge replacement program. We did receive funding to replace bridges, but we ran out before we could get to those,” Oliver said.

But, both Oliver and Lunsford are hoping for at least a portion of funding in a second round of the grant awards.

Congressman Bobby Bright, D-Montgomery, told Lunsford Monday he would work to assist Troy in funding this project. There have been no dates set on when the next round of funds would be distributed. Of the original $1.5 billion disbursement, only one project was awarded for a freight rail project that extends from Tennessee into the state.