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Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 12:48pm

DOT Announces Eligible Transport Tax Projects

State officials announced projects that might be eligible for regional transportation tax dollars. That brings residents one step closer to seeing which projects a proposed sales tax might fund.

Working with lists submitted by regional officials, the Department of Transportation eliminated projects that didn’t improve regional connections, or would take more than 10 years to complete.

The lists that the DOT released aren’t final. The 12 designated transportation districts will now narrow them again based on how much money they would receive from the proposed tax.

Spokeswoman Jill Goldberg says the lists include everything from road to aviation projects.

“We have economic development projects on there, we’ve got congestion projects on there," she said. "We’ve got, really, quality of life projects on there. We have every kind of project out there, statewide, and something that hopefully everyone will like on that list.”

Regional officials submitted more than 4,000 projects for consideration. Now they have until October to choose their final projects.

Jimmy Burnsed who chairs the Coastal transportation district says his group already is thinking about what projects might interest the voters.

“A lot of that will have to do with the ingress and egress out of Chatham County or the city of Savannah because so many folks in the region work, shop or whatever in Savannah," he said. "And so, those projects, the interconnectivity projects, certainly are going to be of critical importance.”

Georgians will vote on a one-cent sales tax for transportation next summer. The state economist has predicted that the tax would generate a total of $1.5 billion in 2013, if voters approve it