Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, has been appointed to serve on the Alabama Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee, the group of lawmakers that oversees the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth announced the appointment Monday.

Ward will represent the state’s 6th Congressional District, which includes Bibb, Jefferson and Shelby counties and spans from Oneonta down to Clanton.

The committee’s purvue was expanded when the Legislature approved a gas tax hike and the Rebuild Alabama infrastructure plan during a special session in March.

“Cam Ward has built strong relationships with senators and representatives from all over the state, and I know he recognizes the vital importance of rebuilding and modernizing Alabama’s infrastructure system,” Ainsworth said. “Senator Ward will be a great asset to Alabama’s Joint Transportation Committee.”

ALDOT must work with the joint committee on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, a long-range plan for transportation projects across Alabama. The department of transportation must use objective criteria when deciding on road and bridge construction and improvement projects.

The criteria must be available to the committee and to the public under the new law.

Ward represents Senate District 14.

“I appreciate Lt. Governor Ainsworth appointing me to this committee — it is a privilege to work towards building safer and more efficient infrastructure for Alabama’s commuters and businesses,” Ward said. “As we know well from the challenges involved with I-65, lingering construction projects can cause serious delays and dangerous conditions for those traveling on our busy roads.”

The committee consists of 12 state representatives and 12 state senators. A member from each chamber represents each of the state’s seven congressional districts and five ALDOT regions.

The Legislature approved a 10-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase on March 12, the first gas tax increase since 1992. Supporters said the infrastructure plan — which included separate legislation for oversight — was crucial to improving the state’s economic environment.

“The Rebuild Alabama Plan gives us the revenue tools we need to improve our roads, and I can promise you that the Joint Transportation Committee will work hard to make sure that every transportation dollar spent by ALDOT is used wisely and efficiently,” Ward continued.