Georgia DOT Outlines Benefits of Transportation Funding
ATLANTA— Georgia’s economy continues to grow. Georgia is now the 8th largest state based on population, the 24th largest based on land mass, has the 10th largest transportation network in the nation, and has the 10th highest annual gross domestic product (GDP) of $507 billion. As a result, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the State Transportation Board have worked with the Governor and the General Assembly to ensure implementation of a comprehensive set of projects to maintain the state’s economic competitiveness and allow Georgia to remain the number 1 state for business, work and recreation.
The passing of the Transportation Funding Act of 2015 has given Georgia DOT the investment needed to help improve the quality of life for Georgians. Funding from the TFA will be primarily used to take care of the current transportation infrastructure, which has diminished due to a continued lack of funding in previous years. As a result, the Department will focus on routine and preventative maintenance like crack filling,
pothole repair, concrete slab repair, drainage work, roadway striping and guardrail repair, right-of-way clearing, vegetation maintenance and tree trimming, increased mowing and litter pick-up.
TFA 2015 gives the Department the ability to invest in long-term strategic projects that will yield significant improvement in the level of congestion along key freight and mobility corridors. The use of Design, Build, Finance (DBF)—the method used to bring competition and reduced cost to the I-285/GA 400 project—and other public private partnership models will continue to provide innovative solutions to address our transportation needs.
“Georgians will be happy to know this major investment will help reduce congestion around the state and allow them to move quicker and easier,” said Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E. “We appreciate the support of the Governor and legislators whose efforts played a significant role in ensuring our state remains competitive and meets the needs of all residents.”
Essentially, 11 transportation projects that target key, critical freight and mobility corridors will be built or be in the building process in the next 10 years. The projects in metro Atlanta include the reconstruction and construction of additional lanes, auxiliary lanes and Collector-Distributor (CD) lanes on the I-285/I-20 east and west interchanges; Express lanes on GA 400, I-285 top end and I-285 on the east side and west side; and widening of I-85 from Hamilton Mill Road to US 129 in Jackson County. Outside the metro Atlanta area, projects will widen I-16 from I-516 to I-95 with significant improvements to the I-16/I-95 interchange; and truck lanes will be built on I-75 from Macon to McDonough.
“There is no doubt that these projects will be transformational and will help to move the needle significantly on congestion statewide,” Commissioner McMurry added. “Statewide we will also gain ground and improve mobility for both freight and goods over the next 10 years as part of our statewide strategic transportation plan.“
These combined projects will provide an additional 331 lane miles of new lanes that include 79 general purpose lane miles, 176 Express lanes miles and 76 truck only lane miles. Once projects are built and operational, they will lead to significant travel time savings in the year 2030, compared to the option of doing nothing. Travel time savings include:
- 19,000 hours of delay reduction each day in the GA 400 corridor.
- 6,700 hours of reduced delay each day on the top end of I-285.
- Over 1,600 hours of time savings each day on I-285 west wall.
- 69 percent reduction in delay on I-85 from SR 211 to US 129.
- 32 percent reduction in delay on I-16 from I-516 to I-95.
For more information about these major projects see the Planned Progress Fact Sheet at www.GAroads.org (click on View Fact Sheet). For additional information on the Transportation Funding Act and “How to Do Business” with Georgia DOT, visit http://www.GAroads.org.
In their 2015 legislative session, Georgia lawmakers addressed the state’s critical transportation infrastructure needs with passage of House Bill 170, Georgia’s transportation funding bill. The Transportation Funding Act (TFA) of 2015 is expected to generate an estimated $870 million in the first fiscal year. This sustained annual revenue will be used to fund much-needed routine maintenance and capital improvements. GDOT is planning now so that projects can advance quickly once funds are received starting in July 2016.