The Southeast Alabama Rural Planning Organization is a joint project between the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission and the Alabama Department of Transportation. Presently, the RPO process is advisory in nature.
The RPO serves as the formal link between ALDOT and rural local governments. This link allows more opportunity for rural communities to communicate with ALDOT. The objectives of the RPO are:
- To improve communication between the rural areas of Southeast Alabama and ALDOT
- To develop documents and data that will be useful to ALDOT and the local governments
- To improve transportation planning in the rural areas,
- To highlight potential construction of needed highway and bridge projects in the rural areas
- To increase highway safety
For official RPO documents and reports, see Data Center.
The Southeast Alabama RPO holds semi-annual meetings, typically in the spring and fall. These meetings include Local Public Forums, Technical Coordinating Committee Meetings and Policy Committee Meetings. The Local Public Forums are hosted in each of the seven Southeast Alabama RPO Counties. Following the Local Public Forums, the Technical Coordinating Committee meets in a centralized
location to assess feedback from the local public forums and make recommendations to the Policy Committee. The Policy Committee also meets in a centralized location to make policy decisions. Public participation is welcome and encouraged at all Southeast Alabama RPO forums and meeting. If you wish to receive news releases for upcoming RPO meetings, please send an e-mail with your name and address to email@example.com.
The Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission (SEARP&DC) manages the Southeast Alabama Rural Transportation Planning Process. The RPO is composed of two committees. The Policy Committee is the official decision making body of the process. The Policy Committee is served by an advisory committee: the Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC). More information on the committees can be found below.
The study area served by the RPO includes all of Barbour, Coffee, and Covington Counties, as well as most of Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston Counties. Southeastern Dale County, northeastern Geneva County, southwestern Henry County, and most of northwestern Houston County are part of the Southeast Wiregrass Metropolitan Planning Organization. The Southeast Alabama RPO study area is shown below.
The first step in any transportation planning process is the development of an agreement. The agreement legally delineates the concerned governmental entities, defines the duties of each entity, and outlines the organizational structure. The agreement is between the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission (SEARP&DC) and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT).
The amendment to the joint Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration regulations regarding consultation with non-metropolitan local officials as related to transportation planning were issued on January 23, 2003. The regulations require the States to consider the concerns of local elected officials when carrying out statewide transportation planning, to develop a process to consult with non-metropolitan local officials regarding transportation issues, and to consult with non-metropolitan officials when developing the statewide transportation plan and the statewide transportation improvement program (STIP).
The State of Alabama DOT established the RPO program after the West Alabama RPO underwent a pilot project in fiscal year 2005. The project was financed by federal transportation planning funds provided by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and by local government funds provided by the West Alabama Regional Commission. In fiscal year 2007 ALDOT expanded the program by funding 11 other RPOs that cover the other rural counties in Alabama. One of these 11 RPOs is the Southeast Alabama Rural Planning Organization.