Fourteen Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) contracts are still on hold after being delayed by legislators at a Contract Review Committee meeting earlier in the month.
Legislators and ALDOT officials met on Sept. 13 to discuss the West Alabama Corridor project and plan to meet again later this week.
“We had one meeting, and another was scheduled for further details. Hope to have another meeting with them this week for questions to be asked and answers received,” Contract Review Committee Chairman State Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook) told 1819 News on Monday.
In her 2021 State of the State address, Gov. Kay Ivey announced the state would provide a four-lane corridor from Thomasville to Tuscaloosa. According to Ivey, the West Alabama Corridor project will provide interstate connectivity to rural counties lacking a four-lane-to-interstate highway, ultimately creating a four-lane connection between Mobile and Tuscaloosa. The project is being paid for with Rebuild Alabama Act funds, a state gas tax increase passed in 2019 by the legislature.
State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) placed a hold of up to 45 days on a $75 million ALDOT design-build contract with Brasfield & Gorrie for the West Alabama Corridor project on Sept. 7 at a Contract Review Committee meeting over financing and cost concerns on the project. In response to Elliott’s hold on the West Alabama Corridor contract, State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) put an up to 45-day hold on the remaining 13 ALDOT contracts on the committee’s agenda at the meeting because the West Alabama Corridor is “vital to my district.”
Legislators on the Contract Review Committee can’t stop a contract from ultimately moving forward, but they can block it from proceeding for up to 45 days. The hold can be released at any time by the legislator.
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