BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -Jefferson County has two thousand miles of road and officials say nearly half of them need repaving. They say this gas tax will be a huge help.
They’re developing a five-year plan to improve roadways and bridges and they’re looking forward to the revenue the new gas tax will bring.
“Oh, it’s going to help us tremendously,” says Tony Petelos.
Jefferson County will see $6.5 million a year once the tax is fully implemented. County Manager Tony Petelos says this tax will speed things up for many projects, especially the older ones.
“Morgan Road. It’s been on the books for 20 years. We just never had the money to do the work. Morgan Road has 18,000 cars a day now. It’s a two-lane road, which is unacceptable,” says Tony Petelos.
You can see the two-lane road backs up every time the light turns red. The plan is to widen it to five lanes and it’ll be put out to bid next month. But that’s just one project of many.
“We have North Chalkville Road in the Trussville area, Galleria Boulevard extension will take traffic off the interstate onto old Highway 31 and then we have Carson Road and Grants Mill Road, so we’re working on roads now.”
In 2011, Jefferson County filed for bankruptcy from a combination of things: sewer debt, losing the occupation tax, and variable rate bonds that jumped to double digit interest. Work on infrastructure suffered. But now they hope to make up for that.
“We will make sure that this money is put 100% into roadways, construction, renovations, bridgework, all that work, for Jefferson County.”
A reminder, the state also helps the county with funding for road projects.. so with the state benefiting from this tax, that will also mean more money for the county.