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Officials look for ways to beef up DOT

POSTED: July 14, 2007 5:03 a.m.
Possible solutions for saving the financially strapped Georgia Department of Transportation were discussed Thursday by members of the Georgia General Assembly in Atlanta.
Among the officials present was Hinesville City Manager Billy Edwards, who was expected to testify about GDOT’s funding deficiences.
With GDOT facing a $7.7 billion project-funding shortfall during the next six years, the Joint House/Senate Transportation Funding Study Committee were expected to look for ways the Legislature could help the department. But lawmakers have not been supportive of recent proposals meant to tackle the department's financial woes.
During this year’s session, a measure was introduced that would have allowed counties to pool money from special purpose local option sales tax programs to fund projects that cross county lines.
Another bill included replacing the state’s motor fuel tax drivers pay at the gas pump with a statewide, 1-cent sales tax increase.
Both failed to gain backing from legislators.
According to STB Chairman Mike Evans, the study committee is to create a common ground between lawmakers.
He said the group will serve as the primary tool for “getting out the information surrounding the funding issue in Georgia for the next six or eight months.”

What impact has the projected shortfall had on road projects?

• More than 500 road projects throughout the state have been moved from GDOT’s short-term building plan to a lengthy list of long-range plans.

• The department’s goal of resurfacing 10 percent of the state’s highways and roads every year has fallen to a low 3 percent repaving rate.
 

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