Millions Awarded for Improvements in Sumter County

Sumter County, Ala. The 10 plus million dollar state grant that has been awarded to Sumter County is part of the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Project, which is also known as ATRIP. That money will be used to improve 22 bridges, 7 roads and for a major lighting project in Livingston. The supervisor for District One says that many of the bridge improvements will take place in her district.

"A total of 9 bridges and there will be at least $350,000 that will be spent on each bridge," said District 1 Commissioner Drucilla Jackson.

Longtime Supervisor Aubrey Ellis says the state grant money will allow county funds to be used for other projects.

"We had at one time, 214 to 217 dirt roads in Sumter county," said Ellis. "So, with this help, we're going to be able to alleviate some of these county roads and wooden bridges that have been closed; we can reopen them and fix things for people who live out in the rural counties."

Sumter County Road 21 through Gainesville is one of the roads that will benefit from the grant.

"This is an important road for our citizens, as well as our industrial base, our logging people because they have to have good roads as well and we are just thankful because we are a timber county, said Gainesville Mayor Carrie Fulgham.

"I agree whole heartedly, and I also look at the safety aspect as far as our school buses driving over the roads and bridges every day and the safety of our children, Commission Vice-Chair Tommie Armistead commented.

Some of the money will be used to provide upgrades for County Road 23, which is located within the county's largest district.

"It's major because there where a lot of tourist go, to the park on that road. A lot of people from Mississippi have like 100 something cabins, down there that they use and that's why I'm glad to get that road," District 5 Commissioner Ottice Russelle said.

The tentative timeline for completion of the projects is three years.