Georgia laws aimed at prioritizing, speeding construction

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 4/24/2013

Two new Georgia laws are intended to help get road work done sooner and cost less.

Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill to expand the Georgia Department of Transportation’s ability to use the “design-build” method for planning and working on projects.

The design-build process allows contractors to submit plans to design and construct each project. Typically, one firm designs a highway and another builds it, with the two tasks bid separately.

Also included in SB70 is a provision that does away with a requirement that contracts go to the low bidder. GDOT now can award contracts based on “best value.”

Advocates say the changes will speed up construction on transportation projects. They also contend that the new process will yield more innovation and deliver better results.

Another new law waives a requirement to balance funds by congressional districts for interstate improvements, certain freight corridor projects, and other projects of regional significance.

Gov. Deal said in a news release the exemptions in HB202 show that the interstates and freight corridors are a state priority, with the cost not being borne solely by one or two congressional districts.

“This bill will allow us to better prioritize transportation projects that help to create jobs, decrease traffic holdup for freight, and quicken the flow of goods,” Deal stated.

He said the state can also move forward on managed lane plans and large interstate interchange projects, and prepare for the increased freight flows from the deepening of the Savannah Harbor.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Georgia, click here.

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