No one loves "free" money more than state and local governments. And Georgia's are no exception.
Anticipation surrounding President-elect Barack Obama's $500-billion proposal to re-invest in the nation's infrastructure continues to build, and cities, counties and states are already starting to drool.
In Georgia, the state DOT has already outlined $3.4 billion worth of road, bridge and rail projects including more than $1 billion for cash-strapped MARTA.
After the jump, read about some of the projects Peach State lawmakers hope the incoming president will deem worthy of the taxpayer coin. We'll have more on Atlanta's potential projects later, as well as some interesting thoughts from one Democratic insider who says we or more like some of our elected officials may have already shot ourselves in the foot when it comes to trying to kiss Obama's ring. (If you'd like to know what's on the wish lists of 427 U.S. mayors, including six in Georgia, visit this PDF.)
State Rep. Mike Glanton (D-Jonesboro), said state budgets will be slim in 2009 and he will be seeking help for several projects, including the Atlanta-to-Griffin commuter rail line; the National Museum of Commercial Aviation in Forest Park; help with $23 million in funds lost by Clayton County Public Schools when 3,000 students left the district; a permanent Boys and Girls Club; a new science building for Clayton State University, and a breakfast program t for Clayton County students.
The money could bring new life to projects to widen the Ga. Highway 324 bridge over Interstate 85 and McGinnis Ferry Road over the Chattahoochee River, as well as fund a proposed McGinnis Ferry extension and improvements to Lawrenceville Highway and Ga. Highway 20, Gwinnett Transportation Deputy Director Alan Chapman said.
Georgia DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said the state list for the federal program could include a lot of maintenance and rehab projects. DOT officials also have outlined transit, commuter rail and aviation projects and more than $1 billion in possible funding for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
[Chatham County officials] say more than $373 million in road, bridge and building projects could qualify for funding under his program.
Projects range from major expenditures such as a $49 million four-lane road from U.S. 80 to Interstate 16 to provide better connections to the ports to more modest proposals such as a $234,000 park with a nature trail and walking facilities.
Topping the wish list is the final phase of Truman Parkway. The state Department of Transportation recently postponed until at least 2014 the estimated $112 million project because of budget shortages.
With federal funding, construction of the last leg of the parkway could begin in six months, Davenport said.
Laying sewer lines in northeastern and southeastern Clarke County.
Adding a turn lane to Mitchell Bridge Road and reconfiguring its intersection with Athens West Parkway.
Fixing the Barnett Shoals Road-Old Lexington Road intersection.
Renovating the Public Utilities Department's customer service center.
Building a bridge to the North Oconee sewage treatment plant.
More frequent Athens Transit bus service.
Oconee County Commission Chairman Melvin Davis said he could use help improving intersections along Mars Hill and High Shoals roads, as well as $3 million to upgrade one sewage treatment plant and $8 million to $10 million to upgrade another.
(Image courtesy of Search Views)
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