Three major transportation projects in metro Atlanta got a boost of funding from the federal government recently.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) announced that $2.2 million will flow to his Atlanta-area district to help ease some of its most severe traffic issues. Included in the funds are appropriations for highway widening, a replacement bridge, and a highly-anticipated rail corridor in the City of Atlanta.
“These investments will not only put people back to work, but will go a long way in helping us create sustainable, livable communities that will be better connected and more accessible,” said Johnson in a statement via his House website.
The Atlanta area is home to some of the worst traffic among major cities in the United States.
Over $1 million will go toward widening Interstate 20, a main thoroughfare that cuts through Johnson’s district directly east of the city. The highway has been congested and marked with regular traffic jams for years. An additional $500,000 of funding will replace a heavily-traveled bridge in suburban Norcross that carries some of the highest traffic counts in the area. The new bridge will accompany improved entrance and exit ramps from its interchange with Interstate 85.
The remaining dollars will go toward the Atlanta Belt Line in the city. The light rail project will connect parks, rail, buses, and walkable neighborhoods within two to three miles of the city’s core. It is one of the most anticipated undertakings in the area with funding coming from federal, state, local, and private sources. The final project will tie together 45 inner-city neighborhoods with a 22-mile rail link.
Last week, Rep. Johnson led a tour of each of the three projects that will receive funding with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Mn.). The tour was a way to familiarize the chairman with the area and raise Atlanta’s profile about its important traffic needs.