Secretary LaHood Highlights Federal Investment, Partnerships with Georgia

January 30, 2013

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood addressed city officials on Monday, January 28, during the Georgia Municipal Association’s 2013 Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta. Secretary LaHood lauded the ongoing partnership between the DOT and Georgia municipalities, noting the importance of ongoing collaboration under the new surface transportation bill. LaHood, who is stepping down from his post this year, summarized Georgia’s recent successes in earning competitively awarded federal transportation funds in his FastLane blog, portions of which have been reposted below.

“Last week, I wrote about the terrific partnership DOT has enjoyed with America’s mayors. Readers might recall that throughout the past four years, DOT has also put a great deal of emphasis on regional partnerships where state, county, and municipal leaders come together for a common purpose.

Well, this morning I had the pleasure of acknowledging mayors and regional partnerships at the Georgia Municipal Association Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta.

Because municipal leaders in Georgia have been able to agree on a set of priorities, the Obama Administration has been able to make key investments in the state’s transportation infrastructure. Altogether, DOT has invested nearly $4.5 billion in Georgia’s highways and $865 million in Georgia’s transit systems since 2009.

We started with the Recovery Act, which financed 398 transportation projects in Georgia—rebuilding 28 Georgia bridges and improving almost 1,400 miles of Georgia roads. And we provided $148 million to improve Georgia’s transit systems.

Through our successful TIGER grant program, we provided $47.6 million to build the Downtown Atlanta Streetcar Line—a 2.6 mile streetcar that connects customers to downtown Atlanta businesses. And we invested in street improvements around the State University in Fort Valley—making the area safer for bicyclists and pedestrians while creating a center of economic activity.

Regions nationwide have made a lot of progress over the past four years. Now, the new surface transportation law, MAP-21, provides transportation funding certainty to states through September 2014. And Georgia’s mayors know that they need to continue working together.

America’s communities must sustain their partnerships and build new ones. We need local leaders, industry, and people from across transportation to continue coming together to help us figure out how we meet the needs of today—and the needs of tomorrow—in Georgia and across the nation.”

To read the full post, check out FastLane, the official blog of the DOT Secretary.


1st Quarter 2013 TIP Administrative Modifications Announcement

January 28, 2013

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Requests for the 1st Quarter 2013 round of Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Administrative Modifications are currently being accepted and will be due by Friday, February 22. Modifications are currently scheduled to be processed on March 8. Project sponsors are asked to submit all requests via the PlanIt project database. Please refer to the Administrative Modification FAQ document for information outlining upcoming due dates in addition to acceptable administrative modifications. For the 1st quarter 2013, staff will be focusing primarily on adjustments to FY 2013 and FY 2014 TIP project phases only. Changes submitted for phases in FY 2015 and beyond will be handled during the RTP update later this year.


GDOT Study to Explore Cost Effective Operational Improvements to Freeway System

January 25, 2013

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Metro Atlanta has a well-established network of interstates and limited access facilities. However, many of these facilities experience traffic congestion during peak travel periods. In some instances, this congestion is due to recurring bottlenecks; other times, congestion is incident-related. Given limited federal funding availability, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is looking to improve the existing transportation system.

The GDOT Office of Planning’s Metro Atlanta Operational Planning Study (OPS) will provide anoperational assessment of the interstate and limited access system in the metro Atlanta region.

Specifically, this study will:

• Identify bottleneck areas along the limited access facilities in the metro Atlanta region;

• Identify and evaluate potential low-cost improvements that can maximize capacity; and

• Document a prioritized list of operational projects.

This study is a coordinated effort with the Atlanta Regional Managed Lanes Implementation Plan (MLIP).The MLIP will focus on identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing new capacity projects where operationalimprovements are not sufficient to address congestion.

To learn more about GDOT’s Interstate OPS, visit the project website.


Cobb to Host Open House for Two SPLOST Projects

January 23, 2013

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On Thursday, January 24th, the Cobb County Department of Transportation will hold an open house meeting to discuss two proposed roadway safety and operations projects on Floyd and River View roads. Both projects are components of Cobb County’s 2011 1% Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) program.

The meeting will be held between 5 and 7 PM at the South Cobb Community Center.  The public is invited to attend at any time during these hours to review the proposed plans for this project; no formal presentation will be delivered. Written statements will be accepted concerning this project until February 7, 2013.  All comments will be presented to the Cobb County Board of Commissioners for their consideration regarding this project.

For more information on the projects and upcoming meeting, please visit the Cobb DOT website.


Managed Lane Facility Investment Strategy to be Updated in GDOT Study

January 22, 2013

The Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) award-winning Atlanta Regional Managed Lane System Plan (MLSP) was the first system-wide evaluation of managed lanes in the United States – an innovative approach to urban area mobility. The plan met the following goals:

• Protect mobility;
• Maximize person/vehicle throughput;
• Minimize environmental impacts;
• Provide a financially feasible system (using a blend of traditional, federal and state funds, and
public-private partnerships); and
• Design and maintain a flexible infrastructure for varying lane management.

The MLIP will update the MLSP, reflecting current funding constraints and the knowledge gained by GDOT from projects implemented around the country since the MLSP was published in 2010. Specifically, the MLIP will focus on identifying feasible locations for capacity-adding projects, redefining and reprioritizing projects from the previous plan based on current and future needs, and developing a funding plan for implementing these projects. The intent is to have a prioritized list of managed lane projects which reduce the state’s reliance on long-term private financing agreements.

To learn more about the MLIP, visit they study website.


Help Wanted at the Fulton Industrial CID

January 16, 2013

The Fulton Industrial Community Improvement District (CID) aka “The Boulevard CID” is soliciting proposals from qualified contractors in the general fields of urban planning, design, landscaping, transportation and related fields to research, analyze, gather input and develop a master plan for the CID area.

The CID is located wholly within unincorporated Fulton County and is generally bounded by Charlie Brown Airport to the north, Campbellton Road to the south, the Chattahoochee River to the west and industrial lands to the east of Fulton Industrial Boulevard, up to, but not including the residential district to the east.

Proposals will be received until 5 p.m. on February 1, 2013, at 30 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Suite 950, Atlanta, GA 30308, c/o Gil Prado.  Any proposal received after this date and time will not be accepted.  Questions regarding proposals should be directed in writing to Gil Prado, Executive Director, at the office address listed above or by e-mail at gil@boulevardcid.org no later than January 18, 2013. Proposals are legal and binding upon the bidder when submitted and must be valid for 90 days after the close of the bid. Pending approval by the Boulevard CID Board of Directors, ARC, GDOT and the U.S. Department of Transportation, it is anticipated that the effective date of this agreement would be no sooner than February 15, 2013.

Selection criteria are stated in the Request for Proposal Package.  The award of the contract will be to the contractor whose responses comply with the requirements set forth in this request for proposal, and whose proposal is most advantageous to the CID, with price considered, and taking into consideration all aspects of the responses.  Rates will not be the sole determining factor.  The Boulevard CID Board of Directors reserves the right to reject any or all proposals to waive technicalities and to make an award in whole or in part and as deemed in its best interest and will not reimburse any offer or for its Request for Proposal preparation costs. The written proposal documents supersede any verbal or written prior communications between the parties.  All companies submitting a proposal will be notified of award.


Groundbreaking Scheduled for Beltline Connector Trail

January 3, 2013

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The Southwest Connector Trail is a PATH Foundation-led project that will ultimately connect to the Atlanta BeltLine through the Westview neighborhood in southwest Atlanta as part of the 33-mile network of paved trails. The trail winds through a serene stretch of woods, originating at the existing Lionel Hampton Trail, passing by Beecher Hills Elementary School, and emerging onto Westwood Avenue. When complete, this trail will run 4.5 miles. Phase I of this project along with the Eastside Trail, the West End Trail and the Northside Trail will bring the total of permanent trails to nearly seven miles along and near the corridor.

The scheduled groundbreaking, which is open to the public,  will be held on January 12, 2013, 9:30 a.m. at Beecher Hills Elementary School.