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Surprises on T-SPLOST list

7:38 PM, Jul 10, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA, Ga. -- You knew that the TSPLOST spends billions on traffic projects and billions more on mass transit.  

You probably knew it spends money on projects like the Atlanta trolley and the Atlanta Beltline -- all in the name of unsnarling traffic.

You might be surprised to learn, then, that the project commits nearly $700,000 for new runway lights at McCollum Field in Kennesaw, and $2.5 for a new air traffic control tower at the same airport.

The aviation projects on the transportation project list are among several that may surprise voters as they approach the July 31st TSPLOST referendum.  Its public transit component devotes nearly a hundred million dollars for new escalators and elevators at MARTA stations, among other upgrades to the existing system.

"We need those repairs to make an operable system that will then be the backbone for the entire transit system with the other projects that are in the transportation referendum," said Jim Stokes of the Livable Communities Coalition, a TSPLOST backer.

The proceeds from the one-cent sales tax also devotes more than $20 million for new sidewalks and bikeways from Buford Highway to Lilburn to Peachtree City.  Backers say local leaders selected the half dozen sidewalk and bikeway projects.

"Sidewalks are what local people want," said Stokes, who adds that  Cobb County leaders selected the airport projects, as part of the ten-year traffic plan.

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