BRT Stations Cut, Project Delayed in Atlanta

Inflation is taking a bite out of planned transportation projects in Georgia. The state's first ever bus rapid transit project provides the latest example of scaled back ambitions.

1 minute read

August 28, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A conceptual rendering of a red bus lane in Atlanta.

A typical roadway section for the Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit Project, shown here on Hank Aaron Drive between Georgia Avenue and Fulton Street. | MARTA / Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit Project

“The cost of building MARTA’s first major transit line in a generation has risen tens of millions of dollars, and construction will be delayed,” reports David Wickert in a paywalled article for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The project in question is the Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit Project. MARTA officials say they will have to cut back on the number of stations planned on the route and push back the completion date due to spiking costs for the project. MARTA reports that the cost of the line has grown by 49 percent to $91 million, up from an original estimate of $61 million

“Construction was originally set to begin this month, with the line opening in August 2024. Now construction won’t begin until spring, and the project won’t be finished until July 2025,” reports Wickert.

As reported in the article, MARTA officials are blaming the delays, rising costs, and diminished scope of the project on inflation and unexpected costs in the construction process.

“The revelations are the latest sign that rising prices, supply-chain problems and labor shortages are affecting construction projects across Georgia,” writes Wickert. “Last month the Georgia Department of Transportation rejected 12 highway construction bids and withdrew six more because of rising prices. GDOT said bids, on average, are 33% higher than expected.”

Thursday, August 25, 2022 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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