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9-21-04 GA 316 Update for Barrow County

According to England, there are also opportunities for DOT to look at separate projects along parkway into which it could put money to lower costs, thus effectively "buying down the total cost" and "buying down the amount of the toll. England said speculation from longtime government watchers that the original $0 toll projection was "sticker shock" tactic to get drivers to find a significantly lesser toll readily acceptable. "But we'll have to wait and see."

AVOC

 

September 20, 2004

 

GA 316 Upgrade Still Alive

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

It is interesting to see that the upgrade is moving along.  It is also interesting to read the comments about  the lower toll.

 

I have never personally believed the toll would be as much as $0.00.   GA DOT and State Officials are smart enough to upgrade the road, over time, and keep the toll at an acceptable level.  There are many critics of any plan.  However, no one has offered a viable alternative to the toll funding.

 

This project has been in the works for at least 12 years.  It is time it gets past the “talking stage”.


The Barrow County News

            http://www.barrowcountynews.com/news.shtml

 

 

Sunday, September 12, 2004

 

England: Some answers on 316 offered

A Wednesday meeting of University Parkway legislators, Georgia Department of Transportation officials and staffers from the office of Gov. Sonny Perdue yielded a few answers for State Rep.-elect Terry England.

"We got some information so I feel a little better," said England, who will go to Atlanta to represent District 108 in January. He was among the dozen or so current or incoming legislators who were briefed on the status of the University Parkway initiative.

The meeting was called by the Governor's Office to enlighten legislators along the corridor about what is going on with the proposal from The Washington Group. England had Barrow County Commission Chairman Doug Garrison there as his guest.

"I got a few of my questions answered," said England, who noted the tentative timeline for the safety-based upgrades in Barrow could be completed in 2009 or 2010.

While England said he and others were under the impression the contract with The Washington Group could be signed before year's end
, what may actually be signed is "an agreement to agree and begin further negotiations as to what the highway will look like and what a toll could wind up being."

England said it appears DOT is prepared to go forward with the project being a toll road, however,
DOT is still able to "opt out" of the endeavor at several points still along the way.

"A public comment period will be included," said England. "
And any toll won't start until the whole project is completed ­ that is how we left it."

According to England, there are also opportunities for DOT to look at separate projects along parkway into which it could put money to lower costs, thus effectively "buying down the total cost" and "buying down the amount of the toll. England said speculation from longtime government watchers that the original $0 toll projection was "sticker shock" tactic to get drivers to find a significantly lesser toll readily acceptable. "But we'll have to wait and see."

England said he was glad to learn DOT engineers with their computer models will be sitting down to look at each intersection and grade separation and have The Washington Group justify its own cost projections.

"They can then look at each piece of contract," said England. "
DOT and The Washington Group understand the importance of making this a success."

England acknowledged the argument about taxpayers paying twice for the University Parkway is still somewhat valid but the parkway will be a totally different highway with HOV lanes and other safety measures. Specifics of the design cannot yet be divulged.


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