Northwest Corridor 75 285 interchange

The year ahead in Georgia transportation

By Guest Columnist RUSSELL MCMURRY, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation

Transportation infrastructure plays a pivotal role in driving Georgia’s economy, supporting community growth and maintaining Georgia’s position as the No. 1 state in the U.S. to do business. It also makes Georgia more attractive as a home to prospective new business operations like Amazon’s second headquarters, as well as those in the freight and logistics industry and our largest industry, agribusiness.

The Georgia Department of Transportation takes its responsibility for managing the nation’s 10th-largest transportation network very seriously, and we work diligently to ensure it meets the needs of all Georgians. GDOT focuses on innovation, safety, sustainability and mobility to provide well-maintained roads and bridges. But that is just the beginning.

GDOT, DBE programs

GDOT’s support of disadvantaged businesses evident in $170 million in DBE contracts in 2016

By Guest Columnist KIMBERLY A. KING, director of the equal opportunity program at the Georgia Department of Transportation

For more than 20 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has had a policy in place aimed at helping small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including minorities and women. This is known as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, and it extends to each state’s Department of Transportation.

A tale of a little bridge that could

A little bridge to be built in the corridor between Atlanta and Chattanooga shows that a little investment can go a long way.

The Tiger Creek replacement bridge could easily be overlooked on the list of 20 contracts GDOT let on May 16. It is less expensive than almost every other project, and is dwarfed by a third of its classmates.

But the Tiger Creek bridge was funded. That fact alone makes it special.

ARC to Ga. congressional delegation: Help end impasse over transportation funding, GDOT official concurs

The Atlanta Regional Commission’s board of directors voted Wednesday to ask the state’s congressional delegation to resolve the impasse over the nation’s transportation funding program and keep transportation money flowing to Georgia.

The ARC board acted in advance of the July 1 deadline imposed by the state for approval of new transportation projects. The Georgia Department of Transportation swiftly endorsed the resolution approved by ARC’s board.

“We support the action of the ARC,” said Natalie Dale, GDOT’s liaison for government relations. “We’ve had similar conversations with our congressional delegation.”

TSPLOST rejection hasn’t dampened demand for GDOT road repair funds

Metro Atlanta has not forfeited many state funds to maintain local roads, despite the higher local match that results from voter rejection of the transportation sales tax in 2012, according to an analysis of figures in a new state report.

The figures seem to alleviate concerns that routine road maintenance could suffer because of penalties built into the state law that allowed for the transportation sales tax referendum. GDOT expects to release the new report shortly.

The 10-county region has drawn down $30.3 million from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Eight local governments did not meet the filing deadline and tentatively have left a total of $430,203 in GDOT coffers – money that probably will be distributed elsewhere on a needs basis.

GDOT’s approval of I-75 project advances concept of managed toll lanes in region, plan due in 2014

The state transportation board has chosen a team to build an $840 million network of managed toll lanes along I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties and open it in 2018.

Essentially, the project amounts to building a separate toll road alongside the existing highways. Traffic will flow south during the morning commute and north during the evening. Funding is scheduled from public and private sources.

This new project of managed toll lanes represents the wave of the future in Georgia’s highway program.

Transportation Camp attracts usual suspects to explore transit advances

Technology is disrupting nearly every aspect of the transportation industry — whether its state-of-the-art robotics revamping the automobile assembly line to a computerized conductor system navigating the railroad tracks or a mobile application providing real-time train and bus locations.

Nearly 250 technologists, planning students, professional experts and other transportation enthusiasts gathered at Georgia Tech for TransportationCamp South, an “unconference” organized by New York City-based Open Plans — a transportation technology and planning startup. Previous launch cities include San Francisco, New York City, Montreal and Washington, DC.