Georgia has made progress on roads and bridges, but falls short in transit, other areas, according to a new infrastructure report card. Johnny Crawford,jcrawford@ajc.com.
Photo: Johnny Crawford/Jcrawford@ajc.com
Photo: Johnny Crawford/Jcrawford@ajc.com

Georgia gets a mediocre grade for roads, bridges

In recent years Georgia lawmakers have raised nearly a billion dollars a year more for road and bridge construction and paved the way for transit expansion across metro Atlanta.

But it wasn’t enough to raise the state’s grade above a C+ in a new report card on the state of Georgia’s roads, transit and other infrastructure. 

That’s the overall grade Georgia Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state in its 2019 Report Card for Georgia’s Infrastructure, unveiled Wednesday at the state Capitol. The report shows improvement over the last one, produced in 2014, which gave Georgia an overall grade of C. But it also shows Georgia has plenty of room to improve. 

The report card grades Georgia’s performance in 14 categories, ranging from road and bridges to aviation, schools and wastewater. Among the findings: 

*Georgia earned a C+ for the state of its roads and bridges, up from a C- in both categories in 2014. 

*It earned a D+ in transit, up from a D- five years ago. 

*Its grades for aviation (B+) and rail (B) were unchanged. 

The lackluster overall grade comes despite significant progress in some areas, especially roads and transit. In 2015, the General Assembly approved a plan that boosted spending on road and bridge construction (then-Gov. Nathan Deal later unveiled plans to spend much of that money on 11 major projects). Last year lawmakers approved legislation that allows 13 metro Atlanta counties to raise sales taxes for transit; they also approved $100 million for bus rapid transit facilities on Ga. 400 in Fulton County. 

Daniel Agramonte, who co-chaired the committee that wrote the report, acknowledged those accomplishments. But on Wednesday he said much of the payoff from them will come in the future. And he said significant work remains in some key areas, like wastewater (D+) and dams (D). 

The chairmen of the state House and Senate transportation committees said they believe Georgia’s grade will continue to rise. 

“C+ is an improvement,” said Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta. “But we’re going to make it even better.” 

“You’re going to see that grade continue to rise,” said Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville. He said he’s shooting for an A. 

You can read the full infrastructure report card here.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

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...
X