The city of Decatur will soon start using money from the state gas tax hike.
Officials will use the money to make improvements on Beltline Road at the Veterans Drive, Modaus Road, Sandlin Road and Central Parkway intersections.
If you drive along Beltline Road, you’ll notice several left turn lane signals across the major roadway. Some people WAAY 31 spoke with said it takes too long to turn most times. However, now, with the city looking at making changes, they’re happy these are things that’ll be corrected with their increase at the pump.
"I'm in favor, because we need it for safety hazards," said Takarra Stovall.
Stovall works in Decatur and said some of the left turn wait times along Beltline Road are just too long. She's glad to know how the gas tax increase is being spent.
"That way, we know where that 6 cents is going. That way, we don't have to worry, and it is going towards our safety hazards and a good cause," she said.
The state awarded the city nearly $2 million to make the improvements. It's one of the largest local grants so far in the Rebuild Alabama Program.
Senator Arthur Orr said crews will shift the left turning lanes more toward the middle of the street and allow for a flashing yellow light instead. This will allow drivers to make a left turn as long as they have the line of sight to do so. Right now, they can only turn left on a green arrow.
There's no timeline for when the project will start. Drivers say they'll be glad for traffic to run more smoothly, and they have ideas for other projects under "Rebuild Alabama."
"The lines on the road, reflections at night time for people that's traveling, and potholes," said Stovall.
The city has to match the grant by 10 percent. We've asked the mayor's office if that money is available, and we're waiting to hear back.
The city engineer's office told WAAY 31 they're confident they'll get the matching money.
Senator Arthur Orr says he's hopeful the city council will match 10 percent, but, so far, they haven’t voted yet to accept it. The city of Decatur submitted the application with no match.
Orr told WAAY 31 if they reject the match, the money will be used for next year’s allotment.