A $6.1-billion list of transportation projects was adopted by the Atlanta Regional Roundtable Thursday, according to Jim Jaquish of the Atlanta Regional Commision. This completes the Roundtable’s work and also determines what will be on the July 31, 2012, ballot for a 10-year one-penny sales tax that could mean a historic change in Atlanta area transportation.
The final report was posted on the Roundtable's website.
The Roundtable, which was chaired by Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson, has deliberated, drafted and re-drafted the list, trying to settle on a group of projects that will entice the whole region.
"Members of the Roundtable acted today to put forward a set of 157 key transportation projects to voters next year that can combat congestion, create and support jobs and enhance the quality of life for residents around the 10-county Atlanta region,” said Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson, chairman of the Roundtable. "This final list of investments will move us forward and make sure the Atlanta region remains competitive well," Johnson said in the ARC press release.
"Today’s vote marks a major milestone for the metropolitan Atlanta region,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in the press release. “The Roundtable’s action today shows that we as elected officials can work in a collaborative fashion to move our region and state forward to meet the demands of the 21st century. These investments will create jobs, enhance our position as the economic engine of the Southeast and reduce traffic congestion."
Duluth projects on the list and their estimated costs include:
- Four-laning Buford Highway, currently two-lane, from Old Peachtree Road to Sugarloaf Parkway - $14 million.
- Six-laning Pleasant Hill Road, now four lanes, from Howell Ferry Road to the Chattahoochee River - $11.6 million.
There are no Norcross-specific roadway improvements on the project list. In Peachtree Corners, the widening of SR 141 from Peachtree Industrial to the Chattahoochee River was among the projects with a funding commitment of $46 million. An I-85 North Transit Corridor is on the list with a $95 million price tag. Gwinnett County bus service also made the project list with a funding commitment of $40 million.
The Regional Roundtable met on Tuesday to consider amendments to the list, none of which involved the Gwinnett County projects. Amendments to projects in Fulton, Clayton, Cobb and Fayette were passed by the group, while others were withdrawn or failed.
Other transit projects on the list include a Northwest Corridor Transit in Cobb County, a Clayton County Local Bus/Fixed Route Transit Service, the Atlanta Beltline and Streetcar, a MARTA North Heavy Rail Extension, an Atlanta-Griffin commuter line and Clifton Corridor Transit, from Lindbergh Center to Emory.
Of all the funds raised, 15 percent will go directly to local governments to use on any transportation project they choose, as well.