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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 10:29am

Officials Get First Road Stimulus Project Rolling

The first of hundreds of road projects injected by federal stimulus dollars got rolling today in Georgia.

A four-mile stretch of highway in Hapeville near Atlanta’s airport is the inaugural project. The resurfacing work represents more than $900,000 of the state’s transportation stimulus share. Once all projects are allocated, over $900 million will be used in work across the state.

State and federal transportation officials at Tuesday’s press conference trumpeted the creation or preservation of hundreds of jobs with the stimulus. But Governor Sonny Perdue says the state needs to have a long-view plan on managing budget issues once the well of stimulus money runs dry:

"If you become dependent on them, there are going to be tough decisions in the future. So we’re trying to manage state government in a way of transition-using these federal stimulus funds, but hopeful that our state economy will recover soon."

The rollout of additional road projects continues over the next few weeks and into the fall. Thus far, a combined $119-million in work has been awarded. State officials say another $250 million will soon be certified to round-out Phase One of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. By fall, it's expected Phase Two money to be awarded will total $370 million.

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