ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Transportation received high praise for the quick rebuilding of I-85, but months the agency is finding its success has generated added pressure.
At community meetings across the state, commuters ask why GDOT can’t finish other road projects so quickly.
“I-85 showed something very unique,” says GDOT’s Natalie Dale. “But again, it was a very unique situation.”
Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes hears the same questions from drivers, most recently where work is underway to widen the Flat Shoals Road bridge over I-285.
“If they can build I-85 in six or seven weeks, why is this taking two to three years?” asked one commuter.
Months after the rebuilding of I-85, GDOT is constantly explaining the difference between a routine road project and an emergency.
GDOT representatives remind commuters that rebuilding I-85 required help from the federal government. The quickened pace required extra resources.
“Other projects were slowed down because of the work funneled to this project,” says Dale.
Millions of dollars in financial incentives moved the contractor to work faster. And it’s not often that a road project is brought on by disaster that closes an entire interstate allowing work 24-hours a day.
“We don’t want to do every project like that because the price tags would be far too much,” says Dale.
GDOT has said it will look at financial incentives to move projects along in the future.