Bird-dogging Georgia’s $10 billion, 10-year transportation plan

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Jan. 12, 2016 - Atlanta - House Speaker David Ralston speaks in support of sweeping transportation funding legislation passed in 2015 in a press conference with Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, House Speaker David Ralston, GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry, GDOT Planning Director Jay Roberts, and state lawmakers who voted for the bill. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
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Jan. 12, 2016 – Atlanta – House Speaker David Ralston speaks at a press conference Tuesday with Gov. Nathan Deal, right, and other key officials. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Gov. Nathan Deal has cited transparency as being critical to maintaining public support for a sweeping transportation funding bill passed in 2015 that will raise an estimated $1 billion per year for highway, road and bridge improvements.

Deal gathered with state transportation officials and lawmakers on Tuesday at the Capitol to unveil a 10-year list of projects funded by the Transportation Funding Act (HB 170). At the same time, he announced an accountability measure, available on www.GAroads.org, where the public can track spending and progress.

The website provides access to detailed information about the revenues collected after July 1, 2015, when a gas tax increase and several new fees took effect.  It also allows people to search for projects by type of project or by region.

Some of the major projects announced as part of the plan could transform commuting in Atlanta, particularly on the north side. They include construction of new tolled express lanes along the top-end of I-285 and along Ga. 400 up to McGinnis Ferry Road in Fulton County. It’s a major step toward state transportation officials’ stated goal of creating a seamless network of interstate toll lanes throughout metro Atlanta.

Georgia Department of Transportation will also reconstruct the interchange of I-20 and I-285 on the east and west sides of Atlanta, and widen a 17-mile stretch of I-85 in Gwinnett and Jackson counties.

The 10-year plan also includes a never-before-seen highway addition in Georgia — a truck-only lane on I-75 North from Macon to McDonough. Click here to see today’s story in the AJC about with details about that project and all the others planned for metro Atlanta.


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