Decatur has been awarded a $1.79 million grant for improvements that officials expect to reduce left-turn wait times at four Beltline Road Southwest intersections.
The grant is one of the largest in the state under the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program-II. Gov. Kay Ivey notified the city Monday that it had won the grant.
The grant will fund corrections to the left-turn lanes on Beltline Road Southwest to Veterans Drive/Kroger shopping center, Modaus Road/Plumtree Shopping Center, Sandlin Road, and Central Parkway, said state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, who served on the ATRIP-II committee.
City Engineer Carl Prewitt said the state will finalize the plans to shift the left-turn lanes toward the center of the Beltline to improve sight lines for motorists with a permissive traffic light.
The committee received 121 applications requesting about $148 million. Decatur’s grant is one of 28 projects that received funding and is among the largest of the grants awarded this fiscal year.
Orr said the grant will require a 10% match by the city.
“This project is one I have heard from constituents about ever since we got the Beltline six-laned several years ago,” Orr said. “Road dollars are hard to come by, and I hope the city will be able to step up with the match funds to make this a reality."
Orr said the project “will be particularly helpful for the Modaus Road intersection that frequently backs up with Jack Allen Park and Austin High School events.”
Mayor Tab Bowling said he also hears frequently from residents about the intersections.
“We’re thrilled to receive the grant because it will impact a majority of our citizens,” Bowling said.
Bowling said the problem is that drivers turning left off Beltline Road only get a green light arrow for a limited time, so there are often long waits even though there’s no oncoming traffic.
“This project will improve safety and allow the driver to have a better line of sight so he or she can turn as long as there is a green light,” Bowling said.
The ATRIP-II committee awarded the grant after completing the fiscal 2020 application review and competitive selection process as part of the Rebuild Alabama Act.