Construction Begins on Stimulus-Funded Roadways
Construction work has just begun on the first highway project in
the 17 counties of Northwest Georgia, funded through the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project includes over 20
miles of resurfacing on Interstate 575, beginning at I-75 in Cobb
County and extending to the Etowah River in Cherokee County.
Work on the $19 million project will occur exclusively at night
on weekdays and weekends between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.,
to minimize the impact of construction on the heavy traffic on
the interstate. Traffic on the interstate will be free from
construction-related lane closures from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.
throughout the entire duration of the project, which is scheduled
to be completed by the end of May 2010.
`Georgia DOT wants to constrict traffic flow on I-575 as little as possible, while working on this major stimulus-funded project,” said Kent Sager, district engineer at the DOT office in Cartersville. “We have made every effort to minimize the impact this resurfacing project has on the heavy traffic the interstate carries during the day. Working at night and on weekends; scheduling the lane closures after the evening rush hour, and reopening these lanes before the morning rush hour; and informing the public in advance of all scheduled lanes closures are only a few examples of these efforts,” he added.
The resurfacing of I-575 is among nine ARRA funded highway projects in Northwest Georgia. Work on all these projects will begin this summer. Cumulatively, they are valued at over $48 million. They range from adding turn lanes on U.S. 41 in Bartow County, and resurfacing Highway 140 in Cherokee County, to improving the intersection of Battlefield Parkway and Pine Grove Road in Catoosa County, and replacing the bridge on County Line Road over Polecat Creek on line between Gordon and Murray counties.
The Georgia Department of Transportation 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 funding projects directly 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.
The ARRA is a national effort to create jobs and transform America’s economy to compete in the 21st century. Nationwide, some $48 billion in stimulus investments are being made in transportation infrastructure, including highways, public transit, high speed rail and aviation. As noted previously, 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 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.