Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Governor Announces Transportation Infrastructure Project Grant Awards

Eight Georgia Community Improvement Districts to receive funding totaling $10 Million

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the approval of $10 million in grant funding for eight transportation infrastructure projects in Metro Atlanta. The projects were developed by Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) and focus on improving mobility and congestion in business centers. In addition, the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) today approved parameters for financing transportation infrastructure loans totaling up to $4 million. Funding for the grants and loans will be provided by the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB), a revolving infrastructure investment fund established in 2008 by Georgia legislators as a part of Governor Perdue’s legislative agenda. Only CIDs are eligible for the grants. The eight CIDs awarded are as follows: Town Center, Perimeter, South Fulton, Downtown Atlanta, Gwinnett Village, Buckhead, Evermore and Cumberland.

“These partnerships have resulted in transportation investment that will decrease congestion and increase the efficiency of our existing transportation facilities,” said Governor Perdue. “The projects approved today are a testament to the commitment these communities have made to advance major transportation improvements in their area.”

SRTA manages the GTIB funds, as well as the extensive grant application review and selection process. Final approval is made by the SRTA Board.

“The projects awarded today represents over $60 million in total project value and provides much needed transportation improvements to communities that have approved this innovative financial solution,” said SRTA Executive Director Dr. Gena Evans. “In addition, GTIB loans will offer competitive rates and terms for those communities trying to accelerate completion of projects or redirect focus on projects that were previously overlooked.”

Serving as a member of the SRTA Board, GDOT Commissioner Vance C. Smith, Jr., applauded SRTA’s efforts and the partnerships created in the eight community improvement districts.

“These projects represent exactly the kind of collaboration and partnerships between state and local governments that will help us move transportation forward throughout Georgia,” said Commissioner Smith.

SRTA began receiving applications for grants in October 2009. Thirteen grant applications and two loan applications were received totaling over $21 million in requested funding. Grant applications were scored using a point system based on the following criteria: transportation/engineering merit, economic merit, local, state and federal matching funds and project specifics including the project phase and feasibility.

Below are details of the eight CID grant projects:

Town Center Community Improvement District

The Town Center Community Improvement District Project will restructure segments of Big Shanty Road in order to alleviate congestion at the Chastain Road/I-75 Interchange. Grant funds will also help to provide a more direct route for the Kennesaw State University population and local residents to access the Town Center Regional Activity Center and the Noonday Creek multi-use trail. The GTIB grant award is $1.75 million.

Perimeter Community Improvement District

The Perimeter Community Improvement District Project is intended to relieve the severe congestion along Ashford Dunwoody Road in the area surrounding I-285 through the diverging diamond interchange (DDI) concept, the second DDI in the United States. The DDI would provide additional capacity without reconstructing new lanes by restriping, altering signal timing, improving turning conditions and reconstructing a ramp. The GTIB grant award amount is $800,000.

South Fulton Community Improvement District

The South Fulton Community Improvement District Project will widen 1.69 miles of Oakley Industrial Boulevard from two lanes to three lanes and will tie to a new bridge over the CSX railroad to the west and a new development to the east. The project is intended to increase safety by reducing conflicts between industrial and residential traffic. The GTIB grant award amount is $1,500,000

Atlanta Downtown Improvement District

The Downtown Atlanta Traffic Signal System Upgrades and Retiming Project will serve to improve traffic signal system operations, mitigate traffic congestion and ensure consistent wireless communication among signalized intersections in downtown Atlanta. The GTIB grant award amount is $1.49 million.

Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District

The Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District Project will heighten economic development, relieve traffic congestion and provide for safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians through the intersection of Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Singleton Road. As a part of the Urban Redevelopment Plan, this project will address the prevalent issues around the corridor including vacancy, blight and crime that has deterred existing businesses to relocate while new businesses and residents have not replaced those vacancies. This trend has been partly due to inadequate infrastructure, traffic congestion and obsolete land use patterns. Redevelopment of this area can halt this trend and revitalize a once thriving business community. The GTIB grant award amount is $1.5 million.

Buckhead Community Improvement District

The Buckhead Community Improvement District Project has three phases in which the final phase will enhance a portion of Peachtree Road from Maple Drive to Shadowlawn including access management, median with dedicated turn lanes, street-scaping, ADA improvements, signal upgrade, street lighting and furniture and innovative bicycle facilities. The project will address through traffic and local circulation, improve efficiency and address safety related to left-turns, multi-modal traffic, pedestrian movement and high density development. The GTIB grant award amount is $1.75 million.

Evermore Community Improvement District

The Evermore Community Improvement District Project will construct a two-lane road that will run parallel to Highway 78 for a distance of one mile from Hewatt Road to Britt Road. The project will include sidewalks and a refuge island to provide for pedestrian safety. As a result, the project is intended to provide an alternate route for commercial truck traffic, reduce the number of turning conflicts on Hwy 78, re-direct traffic to signalized locations and retain businesses on the corridor. The GTIB grant award amount is $763,961.

Cumberland Community Improvement District

The Cumberland Community Improvement District Project will enhance the Cumberland Parkway Intersection by reconfiguring turning movements, replacing “strung” traffic signals to mast arms, improving right hand turn movements from Paces Ferry Road onto Cumberland Parkway. These enhancements will also include improving crosswalks, installing countdown signals and reconfiguring ingress and egress into nearby shopping center. The GTIB grant award amount is $445,039.

Additional funding of the projects consists of CID investment funds and two projects will receive GDOT and federal earmarks. For information on GTIB loan and grant procedures including application, guidelines, terms and interest rates are available on the SRTA website

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