There is no question that the infrastructure throughout Atlanta is crumbling and bridges are no exception. In fact, the funding specifically designated for bridges was a very small amount compared to the total GDOT budget, according to an article recently published in the AJC. It points out that of GDOT’s total $2 billion budget, only $125 million is allocated for bridges. However, House Bill 170 will be able to provide additional funds for infrastructure projects and allow for much needed maintenance work on the bridges in the area.
According the article, there are a total of 6,529 bridges controlled by the state and over 8,000 that are locally owned. Many of these bridges need to be replaced or repaired simply because they are old and no longer meet required standards. Deputy Commissioner Todd Long said that 1,622 state bridges need to be replaced over the next 20 years, which would cost about $322 million per year. Therefore, just to replace these bridges alone, the state needs over twice the amount previously allocated for bridges. In addition, there is routine maintenance and inspections, which must take place to keep drivers safe, calls for more funding as well. The Transportation Funding Act will increase taxes and fees to those in the region, but the evidence shows that the additional funding is desperately needed. It’s a small change that will increase the safety and longevity of a system that so many people use daily.