The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced this week that it has proposed a grant of $184 million for the addition of express lanes to SR-400 in Forsyth County, which many Northeast Georgia residents travel regularly. The grant falls under the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program, a competitive grant system designed to fund infrastructure improvements. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) voted to implement the INFRA program in 2015 as part of the FAST Act.
“As the Congressional committees of jurisdiction review the Department of Transportation’s proposed INFRA projects list, I’m encouraged to see that grants for SR-400 in Forsyth County have made the list. The DOT believes that this project would help the local economy by decreasing travel times and increasing the movement of both people and goods, and I agree. Expanding SR-400 represents a smart investment in Northeast Georgia, and I applaud the DOT for proposing it,” said Collins.
Background from the DOT’s letter announcing the grant proposal:
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will be awarded $184,124,447 to construct approximately 17 miles of priced two-lane, bidirectional managed lanes along SR-400 from Spalding Drive to McGinnis Ferry Road in Fulton County, and one managed lane in each direction from McGinnis Ferry Road north to McFarland Parkway in Forsyth County. The project will connect with SR 400/I-285 Interchange in Fulton County using approximately 4.5 miles of collector-distributor lanes currently under construction. There will be 11 access points for the express lanes, including three full interchanges, two directional entry/exits, and six locations with slip lanes. The project area includes 22 bridges, most of which will be replaced or widened.
The project will enhance economic vitality through the creation of additional capacity that will decrease travel times and increase the movement of goods and people. These improvements will generate safety and mobility benefits through decreasing congestion and increasing travel reliability. The project addresses the leverage criterion by maximizing non-federal funding, incorporating private sector financing, and planning for life-cycle costs. GDOT anticipates delivering this project through a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, and Maintain P3 with a private developer that includes a 35-year O&M contract. Additionally, the project addresses innovation through two innovative programs it has in place to expedite the environmental review process and identify potential projects, and GDOT is currently developing a “one-stop shop” environmental streamlining program to further expedite project delivery.
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