More stimulus bucks hit the road

Gov. Sonny Perdue approved $187 million in federal stimulus money for 51 paving, sidewalk and other transportation projects throughout the state Tuesday. The list includes repaving I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee Counties, the most expensive stimulus road project in metro Atlanta so far.

That’s all on top of $207 million in highway projects Perdue approved in April.

Altogether Georgia is expecting $931 million in road money and more than $100 million for mass transit from the stimulus. The $787 billion federal program is meant to stimulate the economy with quick spending on shovel-ready projects.

The I-575 repaving, from I-75 to the Etowah River, is estimated to cost $29 million. That’s not the most expensive stimulus project in the whole state, and it’s far from a record-breaker in the state’s overall project lists. But the vast majority of transportation projects in the stimulus check in at under $10 million.

Georgia Department of Transportation officials hope to spread the money out on more projects in more areas of the state, rather than doing mega-projects in a few places. They don’t know the true cost of a project until bids come in.

Among metro Atlanta projects Perdue approved Tuesday, DeKalb County had a big handful. They include paving LaVista Road and pedestrian upgrades on Memorial Drive.

For metro Atlanta stimulus winnings, Gwinnett County remains the heavy hitter. It landed at least $19 million in this month’s list, including interchange improvements for Lawrenceville Highway at Pleasant Hill Road and at Beaver Ruin Road, in addition to more than $40 million worth of projects in the batch Perdue approved in April.

14 comments Add your comment

Sonny Perdue

May 5th, 2009
5:42 pm

Hi. I’m racist and I don’t like blacks or hispanics. I also hate Atlanta and don’t give a crap about Marta. There, I said it!

Mike K

May 5th, 2009
5:48 pm

I’m sure 575 will be a blast to drive during the paving process. How about actually widening it instead?


May 5th, 2009
6:19 pm

I’m glad for the pedestrian improvements on Memorial. The ARC’s Concept3 plan calls for it to be narrowed. Widening roads just makes congestion problems worse after a few months. Take transit, instead.


May 5th, 2009
6:39 pm

Screw transit. Have you ever gotten anywhere fast on Marta? No! It takes two hours to go less than 10 miles.


May 5th, 2009
6:41 pm

I-575 doesn’t need re-paved, it needs ANOTHER LANE in both directions from Canton to I-75 … what a NIGHTMARE traffic will be during this repaving!


May 5th, 2009
6:42 pm

Stimulus funds are repaving a road used by people who, generally speaking by voting records, don’t support President Obama or his policies. I hope you all enjoy this and come around to his vision of re-starting America after being run into the ground by the Republitards.


May 5th, 2009
6:52 pm

Thank You for paving I-575. It does need another lane, but I am sick of dodging POTHOLES everyday.


May 5th, 2009
7:19 pm

Are they sure 29 million will cover all the expenses needed to have one guy working and ten others watching him work for 2 or 3 years? What a nightmare on 575 this is going to be.


May 5th, 2009
7:32 pm

Would someone exxplain to me how paving I575 and other roads will stimulate the economy? It is part of the stimulous package. I jsut don’t understand, it will help the cement company, gas company, employees of companies, and that is about all. If Obama had wanted to stimulate the economy all he had to do was give each person $5,000.00.

Mike C.

May 5th, 2009
8:09 pm

If this is from stimulus money, how many new jobs will it generate and for how long? That should have been the main point of the article.


May 5th, 2009
8:18 pm


Alan P

May 6th, 2009
10:16 am

When asked about this type of repaving project, they responded “We are restricted to “shovel-ready” projects that have progressed past planning, design, right of way acquisition and environmental clearances” and “According to federal guidance, congestion relief is not a key goal for the stimulus projects, even though it is an important issue for metro areas.”

The reason infrastructure was a core issue of the ARRA was that it would have long term benefits. Repaving accomplishes little and as the majority of the ARRA transportation projects across the country are projected to be asphalt, will likely increase oil prices

Henry B

May 6th, 2009
4:07 pm

I cannot find anywhere the specific part of LaVista Road to be paved. Anyone got any ideas?


May 11th, 2009
1:57 pm

I take Marta every day to work. It’s typically much faster/better than driving – not sure where you are driving/riding to SlimG. Service would probably be even better if Marta was not the ONLY mass transit system in the US which receives $0 from the state, and yet can be told by the state how to spend their revenue – which includes not being able to spend half of their income on operations. While I am lucky enough to have a car – not everyone is. So for some Atlanta workers this is their only option – good thing to keep in mind when you are sipping your latte or enjoying clean restrooms.