Georgia Transportation Builder - Spring/Summer 2012 - (Page 7)

Commissioner’sMessage Georgia DOT’s Role: Project Delivery By Keith Golden, P.E., Georgia DOT Commissioner T he role of Georgia Department of Transportation in the 2012 transportation referendum process is to deliver projects in regions that pass the tax. Georgia DOT does not advocate one way or another regarding Transportation Investment Act of 2010 legislation or the upcoming referendum. We provide facts about the referendum, the projects, the history behind the legislation and our role in project delivery. While Georgia’s population has grown immensely over the past 20 years, Georgia spends less per capita on transportation than almost any other state. To meet infrastructure needs now and in the future, state legislators looked for a way to fund broader transportation investment. The General Assembly passed the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, which provides a mechanism to fund regionally-significant transportation projects. Through the statewide 2012 transportation referendum on July 31, Georgians will vote on a 10-year one percent sales tax to fund transportation projects within their regions. TIA created 12 districts based on existing regional commission boundaries. Each autonomous region was headed by a regional roundtable, composed of elected local government officials. The roundtable selected its executive committee to solicit public input and develop a final project list for voters to consider. Todd Long, former GDOT planning director and now deputy commissioner, assisted in the process. State economists anticipate that, if approved in all regions, the referendum will generate $18.6 billion over 10 years. The combined lists include 1,644 road-widening, transit, bridge improvement, maintenance and airport projects, bicycle and pedestrian projects and safety and traffic operations improvement projects. In addition, 25 percent of the proceeds – 15 percent in the Atlanta region – will be divided among local governments in the region to use on transportation projects of their choosing. In order for GDOT to efficiently deliver projects in regions that pass the tax, they must be planned in stages – before the vote – to ensure they are ready to be constructed. This requires a number of parallel processes including preliminary design, construction estimates, environmental documents and right-of-way acquisitions. We are developing a program management system, unique to the needs of the TIA concept, to handle program controls, technical details, resource allocations, administrative support and reporting. TIA legislation stipulates how the program will be administered. The Department of Revenue collects the sales tax and remits it to the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, which serves as trustee for each district’s funds. GDOT is responsible for project delivery, excluding transit in metro Atlanta, which is the responsibility of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. A citizens review panel in each region – appointed by the speaker and lieutenant governor – monitors progress of the projects and reports annually to the General Assembly, ensuring timely delivery of projects for the citizens of Georgia. Despite Georgia’s low per capita transportation budget, our highways and bridges are among the best in the country. GDOT is also known for on-time and on-budget project delivery. Since 2006, we have consistently improved cost overruns on construction projects. In fact, according to an independent study by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program measuring performance by 39 participating state DOTs from 2001 to 2010, Georgia DOT ranks first nationally in construction projects delivered on budget (85 percent) and second in projects delivered on schedule (85 percent). The decline in funding for transportation is a roadblock to Georgia’s ability to remain competitive. Existing funding levels are insufficient to meet Georgia’s transportation infrastructure needs now and in the future. The transportation referendum is an opportunity for Georgians to invest in the future of our state by providing a revenue stream to fund and deliver regionally significant projects. For more information, visit ● 2012 GHCA Officers President – Richard A. Dykes, Everett Dykes Grassing Company, Inc. Vice President – David E. Snell, E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc. Second Vice President – Darrell M. Robinson, Robinson Paving Company Secretary – Q. William Hammack, Jr., C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc. Treasurer – Max W. Carnes, Carnes Construction Co., Inc. Directors Lonnie Alexander, Alexander Contracting Co.,  Inc. Michael Bell, C.W. Matthews Contracting Co.,  Inc. Dan Garcia, Reeves Construction Company Trey Googe, Yancey Bros. Co. Brad Lastinger, PentaRisk Associates of Georgia, LLC Dan S. Littlefield, Littlefield Construction Co. Benny D. McLendon, McLendon Enterprises,  Inc. J. Bruce Melton, Oxford Construction Company Michael Mills, Vulcan Materials Company, SE  Division William R. Peek, Peek Pavement Marking, LLC L. Arnie Pittman, III, Pittman Construction Company E.S. (Sandy) Sanford, Blount-Sanford Contracting Company, Inc. Clyde Shepherd, Plant Improvement Co., Inc. Donald B. Stewart, Jr., Stewart Bros, Inc. Thomas M. Tidwell, Tidwell Construction Company Robert White, Rogers Bridge Co., Inc. Mark Williams, Sunbelt Structures, Inc. Larry Wisenbaker, The Scruggs Company SPRING/SUMMER 2012 GEORGIA TRANSPORTATION BUILDER | 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Transportation Builder - Spring/Summer 2012

Commissioner’s Message
Callaway on TSPLOST
Profile: Richard A. Dykes
News & Notes
Index to Advertisers/

Georgia Transportation Builder - Spring/Summer 2012