RESTORE Act to Provide $315M for Projects in Alabama

The RESTORE Act is slated to provide $315 million for projects in Mobile and Baldwin Counties in Alabama. The funding will be provided in cooperation with the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, and will be put towards projects related to infrastructure, economic development and environmental restoration.

Nearly 50 projects will be funded. The largest project includes $56 million for five road expansion projects in Baldwin County. Another $28 million will be put towards building a new facility in Mobile’s port, and $27 million will be put towards projects related to Aloe Bay. The funding will also include $21 million to redevelop the docks in Bayou La Batre.

Tens of millions of dollars will be put towards eliminating sewage overflows and improving water-sewer systems.

The funding will come from penalties paid by companies in relation to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010. The RESTORE Act set aside much of this money for programs and projects designed to restore and protect the economy and the environment along the Gulf Coast.

The first round of funding was announced on Wednesday. While expected to be the largest round, it will not be the last.

More than 400 projects were submitted by government entities, businesses and organizations. Projects that did not make the cut this round may be eligible for funding in future rounds, officials say.

Mobile County had more requests – nearly twice as many as Baldwin County. More requests for Mobile will be deferred to future rounds.

Among the water and sewer projects in Baldwin County, approximately $1 million will be allocated for a sewer overflow prevention plan in Fairhope.

In Mobile County, approximately $3.5 million will be put towards repairing the Perch Creek Area Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line. The repairs will use the trenchless pipe repair technology called CIPP, or Cured In Place Pipe.

An impressive $11.7 million will be put towards the restoration of the Three Mile Creek Watershed. Another $5.3 million will fund water system distribution upgrades in Bayou La Batre. The city will replace 86,200 linear feet of 2″ water lines with 6″ or larger lines. The goal of the project is to protect against fires and improve water pressure.

Several regional projects will also receive funding, including the Alabama Gulf Seafood Marketing Program. Approximately $2.8 million will be put towards this project, which will continue the marketing program for five years.

Another $5.8 million will be used to replace substandard facilities at the ADEM Mobile field office and coastal office.

In Baldwin County, approximately $11.3 million will be put towards right of way acquisition for the proposed 24.5-mile expansion of the Baldwin Beach Express between I-10 and I-65.

An additional $183,500 will be allocated for the expansion of the Orange Beach Wildlife Rehabilitation Education Center. The project will expand the capabilities and capacity of the rehabilitation facility to accommodate more species. The expansion will also allow for long-term rehabilitation, which will result in fewer transfers and euthanasians.

Many of the proposed projects will greatly affect the lives of those living in coastal Alabama.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.