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ARC approves $67.1 billion
transportation plan

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

After three months of consideration and public comments, the Atlanta Regional Commission has approved a new, 25-year plan.

The new plan, called Envision6, calls for $67.1 billion in regional transportation spending, and shifts focus to the improvement of existing infrastructure and promoting a system of managed lanes.

The changes come with an increased emphasis on mitigating traffic congestion, and with attention to budgeting limitations.

The newest plan cuts out about $3.1 billion worth of projects, projects which ARC planners consider good, but which were to an "unfunded needs list" because they wouldn't immediately help the region's traffic problems.

The approved 25-year plan calls for:

· $14.1 billion for road maintenance

· $11.9 billion for roadway capacity construction

· $9.4 billion for managed lane expansions

· $4 billion for new transit projects

· $1 billion for bridge upgrades

· 1,931 miles of new arterial roads

· 241 miles of new interstate and freeway lanes

· 238 miles of new on-off ramps

· 150 miles of interstate toll lanes

With the majority of expected funds dedicated to improvements, the newly approved plan calls for the widening of United States Highway 23, in Clayton County, and the widening of State Route 42 in Henry County.

The only major transit system expansion on the metro's south side, called for by the plan, is the commuter rail line running from downtown Atlanta to Lovejoy.

The six-year mobility plan calls for slightly more than $10 billion worth of projects and programs. The largest project proposed for the next six years is the construction of managed lanes, which will take up 33 percent of the money, or more than $3.3 billion. The second tier projects include the general purpose capacity, with 24 percent of the funds, and transit with 16 percent of the $10 billion.

On the Web

www.atlantaregional.com/envision6