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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 1:48pm

Feds Boost Major Road Project

$270 million in federal loans will fund one of the state’s largest-ever transportation contracts.  The type of project is what one state lawmaker calls the future of transportation building in Georgia. 

By adding toll lanes, the Northwest Corridor project could relieve congestion on a 30-mile stretch of Interstates 75 and 575 north of Atlanta.  It’s a public-private partnership that could cost up to $1 billion. The public’s share would be about a third of that amount. 

The project benefits the district of state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers.  The Woodstock Republican says this type of project needs to be duplicated elsewhere.

“You’ve got to have the private sector invest in this, and that ultimately means a better project anyway if the private sector has some skin in the game. But we hope it will be the first of many successful public-private partnerships.”  

Meanwhile, local officials statewide are trying to figure which regional projects to present to voters next year for a penny sales tax.  Rogers says unless the economy shows big improvement, the tax would have a hard time getting the ‘ok’ from voters. 

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