Georgia's $11 Billion Road-Building Program Evolves
"Georgia officials unveiled major changes Monday to an $11 billion road-building program," reports David Wickart. The changes will delay projects to add toll lanes to Interstate 285 and State Highway 400.
"Meanwhile, [the Georgia Department of Transportation] will accelerate construction of truck lanes from Macon to McDonough and the widening of I-85 from Ga. 53 to U.S. 129 northeast of Atlanta," according to Wickart. "It also will move forward with smaller improvements along I-285."
While GDOT officials claimed the changes were made to accommodate feedback from the truck industry and increasing freight traffic volumes from Savannah, Wickart also suggests that the changes are in line with the state priorities of new Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, "who campaigned on improving the lives of residents in rural Georgia – and paid less attention to metro Atlanta as a candidate."
The $11 billion road-building program was proposed in 2016 by former-Governor Nathan Deal. "The 10-year plan was made possible by a gas-tax hike and other revenue increases approved by the General Assembly the previous year," explains Wickart. In 2018, a proposal to reconstruct the interchange between I-285 and Ga. 400 was named as one of the nation's wort highway boondoggles.