By Alton Mitchell
Motorist and visitors driving down U.S. Highway 431 in LaFayette will obviously notice the state of Alabama has moved in heavy equipment and began a massive resurfacing project on the cities main throughway. However the construction that has began is just the tip of the iceberg for big things that are coming to the LaFayette area. A revitalization of sorts for the downtown area has been in the works for quite a while and residents are finally able to see dirt moving as projects get underway.
In addition to the current work now taking place a grant that was announced at last weeks LaFayette city council meeting will pave the way for more downtown improvements. The city of LaFayette has received a Transportation Alternative Program grant, more commonly known as a TAP grant from the state. That grant give the city of LaFayette nearly $400,000 for downtown improvement projects.
The TAP grant that has been awarded will be used on landscaping improvements around the downtown square. These will include new lighting as well as improvements to sidewalks in the downtown courthouse square area. Many business owners in the downtown business district will also be working to improve and revitalize the area as well. The grant goes in line with goals that have been long sought after by the city of LaFayette to modernize the downtown area. At past council meetings it has been suggested that improvements to the downtown area are the key to moving LaFayette forward.
A visit to City Hall downtown will show a number of large scale posters and photographs displayed on the walls of possible revitalization projects to improve the city of LaFayette. Grants much like the approved TAPs grant are making the vision seen in those posters and renderings become a reality.
LaFayette based Harmon Engineering has played a major hand in the grant by providing cost estimates for the project which in turn allowed for a dollar value to be sought after for the grant. Harmon will now play a role in the design and engineering work for the upcoming revitalization project. Harmon Engineering has been a strong player in projects in the region for sometime.
The vision of moving LaFayette forward is on track and picking up speed a grant of $399,095 will represent one of the major stepping stones in the reshaping of the LaFayette community. Much as the asphalt of U.S. 431 is now being hauled off in dump trucks, the turf and ground around the Courthouse Square will soon meet the same fate only to make way for something new for all citizens and visitors to LaFayette to enjoy.