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Plan allows more state spending on designated freight corridors

Special to SEGAZINE

Car drivers will enjoy safer, less-congested highways, and goods will be delivered promptly and efficiently if a plan recently approved by the State Transportation Board works as designed.

Well, the roads probably won’t be less congested than they are now. But they aren’t likely to be as congested as they could become without the plan.

Still, the designation of specific freight corridors throughout Georgia is hoped to be so effective that it will also boost the state’s economy and stimulate hiring.All of those benefits are pretty ambitious. They reflect how central transportation is to modern life — especially in a state with the nation’s fastest-growing seaport and the world’s busiest passenger airport. Freight is vital to industry and retailers, and managing it frees up roadways for automobiles.

“Increasing Georgia’s role as a global hub for freight and logistics requires us to prioritize limited resources toward the most critical roads and interchanges,” Gov. Nathan Deal said.

The state board that oversees the Department of Transportation voted during its August meeting to designate which highways will get priority for funding. A change Deal signed into law this year gives the board greater flexibility with money for those roads by removing the requirement that spending for them be equal in every congressional district.

They represent just 17 percent of the roads operated by the department while accounting for the 50 highest-volume truck routes and the most frequent freight bottlenecks.

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