The city of Atlanta recently received $45 million in federal funding for infrastructure projects. This is the first payout to the city from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which aims to improve roads and transit, clean water, broadband internet and other initiatives.
The law is expected to grant hundreds of millions of additional dollars to Georgia over the next five years, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Much of the money will be distributed based on formulas that account for each state’s miles of highways, transit ridership and other factors. Georgia would get $8.9 billion for highway construction and $1.4 billion for public transportation over the five year period.
Local officials are now tasked with how to best spend the money.
“After the euphoria is over, we’ve got a lot of work to do,” interim MARTA CEO Collie Greenwood told regional leaders.
Other funds will be awarded through competitive grants, which usually require local matching funds. In metro Atlanta, jurisdictions where voters have approved new sales taxes for transit expansion in recent years are likely to get a large share of transit construction funding.
MARTA has already applied for project funding, and is also considering grant applications for transit lines along Campbellton Road and the Clifton Corridor in Atlanta and the Ga. 400 toll lanes in Fulton County.
The Atlanta Regional Commission must decide how to spend the initial $45 million in new federal funding, as it must be allocated before the state’s fiscal year ends June 30. The agency has proposed using it for a variety of projects:
- $12.1 million for 22 compressed natural gas buses for MARTA.
- $11.9 million for electric buses and electric-vehicle charging stations. Local transit agencies would compete for the money later this year.
- $11.5 million for bus shelters, as well as sidewalks, curb cuts and crosswalks near CobbLinc bus stops.
- $9.6 million to upgrade Clayton County’s main transit center in Jonesboro. The project includes covered waiting areas, restrooms and ticketing facilities.
- $640,000 to plan two future road projects: widening Ga. 155 between I-75 and Hampton-Locust Gove Road in Henry County, and a grade-separated intersection at Ga. 316 and Harry McCarty Road in Barrow County.
The regional commission is expected to take final action on the projects next month.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution