Thursday, April 23, 2009

First Georgia Stimulus Projects to be let in May

The State Transportation Board selected 49 projects across Georgia earlier this month as the first installment of hundreds of transportation projects throughout the state that will begin during the coming year utilizing $932 million in federal stimulus funds designed to create and sustain jobs.

The Board voted this week to focus the Georgia Department of Transportation’s May letting on moving the economic stimulus projects forward. Accordingly, the first 49 projects – valued at approximately $111 million and ranging from resurfacing State Route 75 in Towns County in Northeast Georgia to safety improvements on Buford Highway in Metro Atlanta to replacing a bridge over Drag Nasty Creek in southwest Georgia’s Clay County – will be let (prospective contractors’ bids accepted and opened) on May 22. Bid awards to contractors should occur some two weeks later and actual construction begin in July.

“It is extremely important that we put Georgia’s contractors back to work and that they, in turn, put thousands of Georgians back to work,” Transportation Board Chairman Bill Kuhlke, Jr., noted. “These first 49 projects are a good beginning. Many more are in the pipeline. We’ve instructed Department staff to make stimulus implementation, which is all about creating and saving jobs for Georgians, a top priority of Georgia DOT.”

The 49 projects are the first to begin of 135 selected by the Board last month for stimulus funding and are among those certified by Governor Sonny Perdue on April 7. Pending similar gubernatorial certification, the remaining 86 projects, valued at some $401 million, will be let in June and subsequent months as Georgia’s Phase One highway and intermodal stimulus programs. In addition, the Board is expected to select by December projects for another $343 million in Phase Two stimulus funding.

The transportation stimulus funds are a component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a nationwide effort to create jobs and transform America’s economy to compete in the 21st century. Nationwide, some $48 billion in stimulus investments will be made in transportation infrastructure, including highways, public transit, high speed rail and aviation.

Georgia DOT is responsible for 70 percent of Georgia’s $932 million in highway system stimulus funds. The remaining 30 percent goes to the state’s 15 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), which are determining projects to be funded from their respective allocations. The state also is receiving $144 million in stimulus funds for public transit and is eligible for additional highway, rail and aviation grants from funds totaling $12.1 billion.

All selected stimulus projects will be fully funded by the federal government; no state or local matching funds are required.

Georgia DOT has created a Web page (www.dot.ga.gov/gastimulus) devoted to stimulus activities to provide specific program information and promote transparency of the process. The list of projects selected for the May letting can be viewed on this page, along with other important ARRA information.

The State Transportation Board determines policy and exercises general governance of Georgia’s Department of Transportation. The Board’s 13 members, representing each of the state’s congressional districts, serve staggered, five-year terms. Board members are elected by those state senators and representatives whose legislative districts fall within all or part of the relevant congressional district.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment.

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