Deal, GDOT announce 285/400 interchange funding plan

Gov. Nathan Deal has announced a state commitment to fully fund improvements to the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange, a project of statewide significance.

Deal and Georgia Department of Transportation board members approved the sale of $130 million in previously authorized bonds and the use of $81.5 million in accrued state motor fuel funds to accelerate the process of reconstructing the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange.

“We are currently utilizing all the tools that the state has available — accrued motor fuel revenues, authorized bonds, Georgia’s AAA bond rating and an improving schedule of debt payments — to facilitate major transportation projects,” said Deal. “This interchange is one of the most congested intersections in the United States, and the time has come to bring much needed relief to commuters and area businesses. Improvements to the interchange will provide important economic and quality of life benefits and will expand Georgia’s role as a major logistics hub for global commerce.

“This funding plan will provide a stop gap measure that will allow us to continue working on Georgia’s transportation priorities as we wait on Washington to reauthorize the federal transportation bill.”

The nation’s current transportation authorization expires Sept. 30, but will run out of money this summer. Critical transportation projects are needed through the summer and into the fall, and this plan will allow the state to continue working on these projects.

Additionally, the state needs to be ready to move as quickly as possible into the construction phase of I-285/Ga. 400 once the environmental approval occurs, currently on track for 2015.

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