Project Selection Overview
Highway Investment - Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
The State of Georgia will receive $932 million for projects on roads and bridges in Georgia. Of the $932 million, Georgia DOT must obligate:
- $624 million for projects anywhere in the state
- At least $312 million (50%) must be obligated by June 30, 2009 (Phase I) and the remaining by February 2010 (Phase II)
- $279 million is sub-allocated to MPOs and areas with populations less than 5,000, to be obligated by February 2010
- $28 million for Transportation Enhancement projects
- $14 million (50%) to be obligated by June 30, 2009, and the rest by February 2010
Projects must meet all federal requirements for planning, environmental, right-of-way acquisition and design prior to federal authorization of funding. Projects are recommended to be completed within three years, or by February 17, 2012. Obligated balances are available for expense until September 30, 2015, at which time any remaining balances will be cancelled. ARRA funds are 100% federal funds; no state match is required. No funds are available to be used for administration.
All projects must come from an approved State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) or local Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in urbanized areas. The State Transportation Board has approved the following project categories and estimated funding levels:
- Safety projects - 10% of funds, prioritized by accident rates and benefit/cost
- Bridges - 10% of funds, prioritized by bridge ratings
- New Capacity Projects - 26%, prioritized by project prioritization scores, delayed in the 2008 or 2009 STIP/TIP
- Maintenance projects - 50% (20% interstate, 30% resurfacing), prioritized by pavement ratings, and average daily traffic counts
- Enhancement projects- 4%, (mandatory ARRA category) prioritized by eligibility and readiness
GDOT received nearly 2,500 local project requests for funding. Because there were more projects eligible than funding available, a prioritized short list of projects that meet ARRA requirements was developed. From the list that meets basic ARRA requirements, a final list of projects was developed and was considered based on the following additional project selection criteria:
- Three-year completion priority, so that expenditures can be completed by February 17, 2012
- Provides work in Economically Distressed Areas of the state
- Expeditious project delivery with a goal of obligating at least 50% of the funds not later than June 17, 2009
- Maximize job creation
On March 19, 2009, the State Transportation Board reviewed and approved a list of 135 ARRA eligible projects with a total cost of $512 million. This list was submitted to Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to certify as Phase I projects (50% of $624 million must be obligated by June 30, 2009). Governor Perdue certified 67 of the 135 projects for a total cost estimate of $111 million on April 7, 2009. Georgia DOT moved 49 certified projects to let for construction in May 2009. Additional certifications were obtained on May 4th and June 12th to meet letting schedules for June and July 2009.
Public Transit Investment – Federal Transit Administration
The State of Georgia will receive $144 million for public transit projects in Georgia. MARTA receives $7 million of that amount for fixed guideway modernization. Of the $144 million, Georgia DOT has been appropriated $136 million:
- $12.3 million for urbanized areas with populations under 200,000,
- $25.6 million for the non-urbanized parts of the state, and
- $98.7 million will go directly to larger transit systems in urbanized areas of the state. Funds are included for administration and Georgia DOT plans to use 15% (about $3 million) for administrative purposes associated with grant and project administration.
Local transit systems will use funding for capital improvements to their transit systems. All transit systems are required by FTA to maintain 5-year capital improvement plans, so ARRA funds will allow them to advance fund items that are already on their capital improvement plans.
In order to identify ready-to-go projects, Georgia DOT has issued two Calls for Projects to the state’s transit providers:
- 5307 and 5311 (public transit) projects, and
- 5311F (inter-city bus services) projects.
Grant applications for Phase I projects (50%) were due July 2009. However, the Department sought and obtained the Governor’s certification of 22 transit projects for a total of $38.8 million on June 3, 2009.
Airport Discretionary Grants
In late 2008, Georgia DOT identified 17 aviation projects totaling an estimated $45 million to submit to FAA for funding that:
- were delayed due to lack of funds,
- were included in the state’s Airport Layout Plan,
- completed environmental requirements,
- ranked 62 or above in FAA’s National Priority System, and
- could be “ready to go” in 45 days.
FAA announced Monday, March 30, 2009, that Georgia DOT will receive grant funding in the amount of $9,984,000 for five general aviation airport projects. The grant provides 100% federal funding for:
- Adel-Cook County Airport to construct parallel taxiway - $656,000
- Alma-Bacon County Airport to construct parallel taxiway - $734,000
- Brunswick-McKinnon-St. Simons Airport for rehabilitation of terminal area apron - $5,864,000
- McRae-Telfair-Wheeler County Airport to extend runway 3/21 - $890,000
- Peachtree City-Falcon Field Airport to construct Area "C" aircraft parking apron - Phase II – $2,000,000