We are excited to announce the acquisition of Vision Engineering & Planning, a transportation planning and engineering DBE firm with offices in Columbia, MD and Atlanta, GA.
By: Jim Meads, P.E.
Alabama drivers saw a 6-cent state gas tax increase this past weekend starting September 1st. This was the first increment of the 10-cent tax approved this year by the legislature and Governor Kay Ivey. Alabama’s Fuel Tax of 18 cents per gallon on gas and 19 cents on diesel was the fifth lowest in the United States and had not changed since 1992. When fully implemented, the increase will generate about $320 million a year for road and bridge projects throughout Alabama. The first 5 state projects have already been announced:
Passage of the Rebuild Alabama Act came after years of hard work by industry advocates and state law makers. As President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Alabama this past year, I was able to see how our organization worked closely with the Alliance for Alabama’s Infrastructure (AAI) and other industry partners to advocate for increased infrastructure funding in Alabama. Our combined advocacy efforts were instrumental in the passage of the Rebuild Alabama Act. We are indebted to bill sponsors Representative Bill Poole, (R) Tuscaloosa, and Senator Clyde Chambliss, (R) Prattville, as well as Governor Ivey for their leadership in getting the bill passed.
Photo: Jim Meads presenting ACEC’s Senator of the Year Award to Senator Clyde Chambliss for his role in passing the Rebuild Alabama Act.
In 2016, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released a report card on Alabama’s infrastructure system in which Alabama’s roads received a D+. On a local note, the research publication “TRIP, Alabama’s Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the States’ Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility” rated the condition of roads in the Birmingham urban area at approximately 50% in the Poor and Mediocre categories.
The Rebuild Alabama Act will invest more than 3 billion dollars in roads and bridges across the state of Alabama over the next 10 years. Here’s an overview of the Rebuild Alabama Act:
Fuel Tax Increase and Distribution
The state gasoline and diesel tax will be increased incrementally over the next three years:
The revenues raised through these increases in the gas and diesel tax will be distributed as follows:
Additionally, $11.76 million shall be annually distributed by the Alabama Highway Finance Corporation to finance the deepening and widening of the Port of Mobile. This diversion is not perpetual and will end once bonds are paid off.
Fuel Tax Indexing
Beginning on October 1, 2023, and on July 1 of every other year following, the fuel tax will be indexed to the National Highway Construction Cost Index (NHCCI) issued by the Federal Highway Administration and will be implemented as follows:
Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Fees
Electric vehicles (EVs) will now pay an annual registration fee. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will pay $200, and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) will pay $100.
Local Government Grant and Funding Programs
According to the Business Council of Alabama,” the Rebuild Alabama Act is a responsible investment in our state, our business and our people and will yield tangible results in the years to come.” We couldn’t agree more.