- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced his $10 billion, 10-year transportation investment plan, which he said will be financed through a $900 million transportation funding bill the General Assembly passed last year, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
- Deal's 18-month, $2.2 billion program includes resurfacing more than 2,500 miles of state roads, 118 bridge replacements, 300 bridge repairs, 109 intersection improvements and 36 widening projects, taking two-lane roads to four lanes. Dean indicated that a plan for new construction, which will include interstate express lanes and improvements at interstate interchanges across the Atlanta metro area, is still to come.
- Georgia Commissioner of Transportation Russell McMurry said the DOT plans to add a series of express lanes, truck lanes and standard lanes to the interstate system using public-private partnerships (P3s).
"We now have the ability to start addressing the backlog of work to Georgia's critical infrastructure and increase preventive maintenance across the state," McMurry said in a statement. "Our first priority is to take care of the existing transportation system."
The plan is not without controversy. The transportation funding bill is the beneficiary of a new annual $1 billion transportation tax that has its critics. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the governor’s plan could be a defense strategy for those lawmakers who voted for the bill in the face of voter opposition.
Critics of the plan also point out that there is no transit spending. "This obsession with asphalt has got us into a crisis," state Sen. Vincent Fort told the Journal-Constitution. "You just can’t build yourself out of a traffic problem."
But P3s have once again made an appearance, and the emphasis has been on their ability to achieve efficiencies and cost control that 100% public or private structures cannot.
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo just announced in his State of the State speech that New York would be utilizing P3s as part of its 2016 $100 billion infrastructure initiative. In addition, Arizona recently awarded Fluor-led Connect 202 Partners a $1.9 billion contract using a P3.
Florida is also underway with a high-profile P3 near Orlando, where Skanska’s I-4 Mobility Partners is improving a $2.3 billion, 21-mile section of I-4. The "I-4 Ultimate" recently won the Best Transport Project award at the 2015 P3 Awards, where it was recognized for its scale, complexity, and overall performance.