I-285 blueprint for future projects in Georgia

Georgia will apply the DBF method in future transportation projects following the success of I-285/400 and the Northwest Corridor, Governor Deal says.

Georgia can expect to see more transportation projects being delivered using the design, build, finance (DBF) model Governor Nathan Deal said as he unveiled a 10-year programme identifying a list of projects across the state that represent more than $10 billion in investment.

The comprehensive list, which also identifies $2.2 billion worth of projects prioritised for the next 18 months, was made possible by the Transportation Funding Act (TFA) of 2015, the governor’s office said in a statement.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the act, signed into law last July, takes on board the Legislative Joint Study Committee’s recommendation that $1 billion to $1.5 billion in new annual transportation infrastructure funding is needed to address the state’s needs. TFA provides multiple options to maintain a dependable funding stream and allows funding flexibility between state and federal funding, GDOT states on its website.

“Over the next 18 months, GDOT will deliver contracts that resurface nearly 2,500 miles of roads, replace more than 100 bridges, and provide critical rehabilitation to more than 300 bridges,” GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said.

“Using the recent successes of the innovative design, build and finance method on the I-285/400 project and Northwest Corridor project as a blueprint, we will continue to deploy similar strategies to improve people and freight mobility throughout the state,” Governor Deal said.

Last month, Georgia selected a consortium led by Spanish developer Ferrovial – North Perimeter Contractors – to design, build and partially finance the Interstate-285/State Road 400 project. By using the DBF model, Georgia was able to save $421 million reducing the cost to $460 million, according to GDOT.

In September 2013, GDOT awarded the Northwest Corridor (NWC) project to Northwest Express Roadbuilders, a consortium comprising Archer Western Contractors, Hubbard Construction and engineering firm Parsons Transportation Group.

The project, which entails adding two managed lanes on I-75 to relieve traffic congestion in Atlanta, is a smaller and less expensive version of ‘West by Northwest’ (WxNW), a $2.3 billion design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) 40-mile toll road expansion project encompassing I-75 and Interstate 575 (I-575), which Deal cancelled when he became governor in 2011.

“I am and will be opposed to contracting away […] sovereignty for a 60 or 70 year period over a transportation corridor that is so vital to our future,” Deal had said during his State of the State address in January 2012.

At the time, Deal pointed out that he remained “committed” to improving the road, but believed “there is a better way forward”.