The Georgia State Transportation Board approved 135 separate economic stimulus projects across the state valued at more than $512 million. They are the first of hundreds of transportation projects throughout Georgia that will begin during the coming year utilizing $932 million in federal stimulus funds designed to create and sustain jobs.
In accordance with the action and pending certification by Gov. Sonny Perdue, Georgia DOT and local governments will now solicit bids from private-sector contractors to perform the work. Contracts for some initial projects may be awarded in April with work likely beginning by early June. A continuous process of bidding and awards will follow expeditiously. All work will be initiated by June 17.
“This is a good day . . . an important day,” Transportation Board Chairman Bill Kuhlke, Jr., said. “Very soon now, contractors across the state will begin putting Georgians back to work. And the work they’ll be doing will be important maintenance and improvements to our transportation infrastructure.
“The Board and the [DOT] have been, and will continue to be, methodical, meticulous and totally transparent in the selection of projects,” Kuhlke added. “Unlike most states, we’re including local city and county projects in the stimulus program. We have far more eligible projects than we have available funds; therefore, we are using established, quantifiable criteria to carefully evaluate and prioritize.”
The Georgia DOT is responsible for 70% of Georgia’s $932 million in highway system stimulus funds. The remaining 30% goes to the state’s 15 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), which are determining projects to be funded from their respective allocations.