AASHTO Journal, 15 January 2016
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry and other officials unveiled a plan to invest an additional $2.2 billion in the next 18 months in infrastructure projects, paid for by a new transportation funding law state legislators approved in 2015.
Deal and McMurry on Jan. 12 released a detailed project list for that time period, along with a 10-year list of projects worth more than $10 billion that the state transportation funding measure made possible.
“One year ago, I stood before the General Assembly and urged members to prioritize Georgia’s transportation needs,” said Deal. “In order to maintain our roads and bridges, improve congestion and accommodate the movement of freight traffic, we could no longer afford to kick the can down the road. Legislators on both sides of the aisle took action, working together to pass legislation addressing these critical needs. Today, we are delivering on our promise.”
Deal also said that “for every dollar invested, Georgians will see four dollars in return . . . This infrastructure investment will continue delivering dividends for years to come and keep Georgia a top destination for business and families.”
McMurry said: “We are excited that we now have the ability to start addressing the backlog of work to Georgia’s critical infrastructure and increase preventative maintenance across the state. Over the next 18 months, GDOT will deliver contracts that resurface nearly 2,500 miles of roads, replace more than 100 bridges, and provide critical rehabilitation to more than 300 bridges.”
The agency will also make greater use of the innovative “design build and finance” method of planning and implementing new projects to speed them up and cut costs by choosing a single contractor to design, build and finance construction, compared with traditional bid competitions.
Georgia has also created a special website for the public to track progress, which Deal said “provides clarity through features unprecedented in state history.”