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Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 11:42am

DOT Chief Wants Another "Stimulus" for Transportation Projects

Georgia’s transportation chief is calling on Washington to include transportation dollars in the jobs creation bill being debated in the US Senate right now. This coincides with the one year anniversary of the federal stimulus act and a new report showing the program’s success.

Georgia got over $900 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to fund 350 transportation projects.

About 2/3 are in progress. It has created or retained about 1,000 jobs so far. And a national report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials claims Georgia was a good steward of the money, awarding most of the contracts below cost estimates.

So, DOT commissioner Vance Smith joins other states across the country in asking for another round of federal money.

"Without the stimulus dollars, we’re just maintaining on dollars we have, anyone can say there’s going to be fewer contracts out there. We just got done talking about jobs… we want people to be able to maintain their employees."

Smith is also looking to the state legislature for funding. Right now proposals focus on a regional penny sales tax to pay for local projects.