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Mayor Woodfin calls infrastructure bill a game changer

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 9:06 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin is back in the city from Washington D.C. after attending the signing ceremony for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan signed into law Monday.

The Mayor called this a game changer for Birmingham.

Replacing bridges with new federal dollars will be one of the city’s top priorities--specifically the 115 year old bridges over the railroad tracks on 21st and 22nd street. Birmingham has a lot of needs and cost for fixing its infrastructure, including improving roads, bridges, public transportation, and expanding broadband service.

Birmingham has also experienced numerous flooding events with heavy rains, so money will be set aside for water and sewer work to help reduce the flood threat.

Mayor Woodfin said the city’s bus system has been an ongoing problem, so the infrastructure package will include funds for improving public transportation. They want a system where people can depend on transportation for school and work.

The exact amount the city will receive has not been determined but the state of Alabama is expected to get about $7 billion. These projects are needed but Birmingham can’t do it without federal help.

“If it’s just depending on city tax dollars that is cost prohibitive and if you want to bring in the state, I think we can eventually work something out. Getting federal assistance expedites that and speeds that process up. Getting in place the city, state and federal dollars,” Woodfin said.

City Transportation Director James Fowler said the top priority will be fixing their infrastructure first before they look at expanding any service.

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