With the new federal budget deal, Georgia has access to its full allotment of federal transportation funding. Johnny Crawford,jcrawford@ajc.com.
Photo: Johnny Crawford/Jcrawford@ajc.com
Photo: Johnny Crawford/Jcrawford@ajc.com

Federal budget deal allows Georgia DOT to catch up on road work

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last month, about two dozen Georgia road projects were put on hold earlier this year because of the recent federal government budget stalemate. 

With President Trump and Congress engaged in a prolonged budget showdown, GDOT didn’t have access to the state’s full allotment of federal transportation funding. So in January, the Georgia Department of Transportation postponed $32 million worth of road resurfacing and maintenance projects for lack of federal funding. For February, it delayed an additional $60 million worth of resurfacing, bridge maintenance and other projects. 

Among the projects put on hold: Bridge maintenance at various locations on I-20, I-75 and I-285 in Fulton County; resurfacing I-75 northbound from Ga. 36 to Ga. 155 in Butts, Henry and Spalding counties; and bridge maintenance on I-75 in each direction at the Ga. 5 Connector in Cobb County. 

The stalemate ended earlier this month, and GDOT has begun addressing its backlog of road maintenance projects. 

On Thursday the State Transportation Board approved plans to put 33 projects valued at $114.5 million out to bid in March. They include many of the road maintenance projects that were put on hold earlier this year. The remaining projects will be let over the next few months. 

GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry told the board the federal budget deal is “very welcome news.” 

“It gives us the confidence for the rest of this fiscal year that we can stay on a (construction) trajectory,’ McMurry said. 

GDOT Chief Engineer Meg Pirkle said most of the projects the board approved Thursday involve paving and other maintenance – work that must be done in warm summer months. Other construction projects that had been delayed will be bid by June. But Pirkle said that work is less time-sensitive, and she expects no significant construction delays.

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About the Author

David Wickert
David Wickert
David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois...