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ROAD REBUILD: Resurfacing underway on County Road 7707

The first “Rebuild Alabama” sign is up in Pike County, signifying the first road to be repaved with funds from the 2019 legislative act raising the state gas tax to pave county roads.

The sign was put up on Thursday at County Road 7707 which is being repaved partly by Federal Aid Exchange Funds (FAEF) created by the Rebuild Alabama Act. The other 50 percent of the funding comes from Industrial Access funds as Lockheed Martin’s expansion unlocked that revenue stream for the county.

County Engineer Russell Oliver said the FAEF funds are part of the Rebuild Alabama Act, but are not actually raised from the new tax increase.

“These are actually a trade-off for federal funds we were receiving federally, hence the name,” Oliver said. “However, the county is about to begin receiving revenue from the gas tax.”

Oliver said the counties did not actually begin receiving funds until January despite the tax increase being implemented in September 2019.

With the new gas tax revenues looming, the commission made a plan to repave 56 miles of local county roads that have had no consistent source of funding for decades.

“The County Road Aid Fund (CRAF) is new money generated by the gas tax,” Oliver said. “Previously, federal aid money could only be used on collector roads. The CRAF funds generated by the new gas tax can be used on any of our roads. Some of the roads we’re repaving haven’t ever been resurfaced or not in many years. We’ve never had any funding that could be used on those roads.”

Commissioner Homer Wright, who represents District 1 where the current resurfacing is taking place, said County Road 7707 is a very important one in his region.

“We like to try to keep up that road,” Wright said. “There’s a lot of industrial traffic going to Lockheed Martin loading all of those missiles and everything; they don’t like to shake those up. There’s a lot of excess traffic coming own that road now too with Rex Lumber opening and Lockheed Martin expanding with additional buildings. We’re proud so much is going on in the district. We hope to keep somebody from going out of town and instead being able to get a job right here.”

Oliver said the road was already built to a higher standard as an industrial access road, but with the expansion and Rex Lumber traffic, the road needed an upgrade.

“The pavement was over 25 years old nearly 30 years old it; it had just deteriorated and needed to be resurfaced,” Oliver said.

Oliver said that many of the other roads on the list will begin being resurfaced by May or June, noting that most roads cant be resurfaced in the winter.

“We’re really doing this work as soon as possible after receiving the funds,” Oliver said.

The county revealed in August 2019 the list of roads to be repaved in 2020.

“This road paving list is built on degradation and risk assessment that has stayed the same for the past two commissions,” said Commissioner Russell Johnson, District 6. “Before the gas tax, a $480,000 federal highway grant was the sole source of funding for the county to resurface major and minor collectors. There has been no budget period for local roads in the last 30 years.”

The full description of which roads will be resurfaced or repaired follows.

A 2.51-mile portion of County Road (CR) 7707 will be resurfaced from U.S. Highway 231 to the Lockheed Martin main entrance.

A 2.23-mile portion of CR 1105 will be resurfaced and striped from CR 1101 to CR 1106.

A 3.2-mile portion of CR 2221 will be resurfaced and striped from CR 2238 to CR 2290.

A 7-mile portion of CR 2225 will be resurfaced and striped from CR 2262 to CR 2290.

A 1.5-mile portion of CR 2267 will be resurfaced and striped from CR 2268 to Alabama Highway 87.

A 2.28-mile portion of CR 2276 will be resurfaced and striped from the Crenshaw County line to CR 2270.

A 7.1-mile portion of CR 2290 will be resurfaced and striped from CR 2262 to CR 2221.

A 4.2-mile portion of CR 3310 will be resurfaced and striped from U.S. Highway 231 to CR 3316.

A 3.34-mile portion of CR 3314 will be resurfaced and striped from CR 3318 to CR 3313.

A 0.96-mile portion of CR 3331 will be resurfaced and striped from Alabama Highway 125 to the end of the pavement.

A 1.8-mile portion of CR 5518 will be resurfaced and striped from CR 5520 to CR 5516.

A 1.01-mile portion of CR 3309 will receive a scrub seal from CR 3310 to CR3304.

A 2.06-mile portion of CR 5520 will receive a chip seal from U.S. Highway 231 to the end of the pavement.

A 3.2-mile portion of CR 6647 will receive a scrub seal from Alabama Highway 130 to CR 6631.

A 2.31-mile portion of CR 2243 will receive a scrub seal from CR 2253 to CR 2201.

A 5.52-mile portion of CR 1101 will receive a triple surface from U.S. Highway 231 to CR 1153.

A 0.96-mile portion of CR 5535 will receive a chip seal from CR 5513 to CR 5509.

A 0.9-mile portion of CR 1136 will receive a triple surface form the county line to CR 1101.

A 2.8-mile portion of CR 5509 will receive a chip seal from Gibbs Street to Grace Road.

A 1.8-mile portion of CR 4408 will receive a scrub seal from Alabama Highway 93 to CR 4409.

A 3.97-mile portion of CR 2262 will receive a triple surface from CR 2290 to CR 2252.

The project totals more than $5.4 million, which will be borrowed by the county against the Rebuild Alabama gas tax funds over the next 15 years.