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Thursday, September 9, 2010 - 11:23am

Stimulus Can't Cover All Road Projects

Georgia transportation officials say their share of current federal stimulus money is not enough to reach all of the work that’s needed statewide. But there’s hope that President Obama’s new $50 billion plan to upgrade the nation’s transportation grid could change that.

That new plan rolled-out this week by the President calls for a longer-range investment into the country’s roads, rail lines, and runways.

It would be different than the current stimulus money being spent, which requires “shovel ready jobs” be funded.

Meg Pirkle with Georgia’s Department of Transportation says about a quarter of $932 million of the state’s transportation share is used-up. And some work needed to be moved to the side .

“With the money we received last year, we had to obligate half of it within three months. That really impacts your project selection. And if there are tight time restraints like last time, a lot of it will go towards maintenance.”

Pirkle says there’s improvements needed for many of the state’s bridges, but that work takes longer to plan. She says so far, about $57 million has been spent to fix 28 bridges statewide.

She says current stimulus money should be used-up well before the 2015 deadline. Congress would have to approve any further stimulus spending.