Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue unveiled a plan April 14 to spend
more than $15 billion over the next six years to improve roads and ease traffic
congestion throughout the state.
The spending package includes $3 billion in borrowing from
future federal funding. The rest would come from the existing Georgia
Department of Transportation budget and $1.5 billion in general obligation
bonds, Henry County’s Daily Herald reported.
The bulk of the plan would be funded with $11 billion from
the GDOT budget to put projects already in the works on the fast track.
Perdue’s announcement is his most sweeping statement yet on
plans to reduce congestion and improve air quality around Atlanta. He said the
plan would focus almost exclusively on highway improvements, not mass transit.
The first change would be more high-occupancy vehicle lanes
on metro Atlanta highways and an expansion of the HERO program, the network of
yellow trucks dispatched to clear accidents and stalled vehicles from highways.
The governor insisted his plan is the fastest way to reduce
traffic tie-ups, which will improve air quality because drivers will spend less
time idling in traffic jams.
Perdue said in a statement that traffic could be improved
without building more highways, but he insisted most money should go to roads
because that’s how most people get around.
“This is not simply a build, build, build program,” he said.
“We’re also putting more capacity where we need it.”