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July 2, 2018

GA 400 Express Lanes Project Ceremony


On Friday, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced a $184 million federal INFRA grant to Georgia to help finance 17 miles of express lanes along GA 400 in Fulton and Forsyth Counties.

Secretary Chao was joined by GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry, SRTA/GRTA executive director Chris Tomlinson, Congresswoman Karen Handel, Congressman Rob Woodall, Senate Transportation Chairman Brandon Beach and House Transportation Chairman Kevin Tanner with many local leaders in the audience, such as MARTA CEO Jeff Parker and Fulton County Commissioners Robert Pitts and Liz Hausman. 

Secretary Chao praised the project for the way it “maximizes non-federal funding, incorporates private sector financing and plans for life cycle costs. It really is a model for the rest of the country.” She also stressed that “local government is a natural partner in infrastructure. We believe you know best of the infrastructure needs of your community.”

Congresswoman Handel echoed the importance of local input on transportation initiatives, “as a member of congress, and a former county commissioner and a former chamber exec, I understand that local officials in collaboration with state leaders need to be the drivers of projects.”

Tomlinson said “ours is a collaboration that is galvanized by our collective mission, vision and values” and Chairman Beach thanked “Russell McMurry, Chris Tomlinson and Keith Parker [former MARTA CEO], Doug Hooker [Atlanta Regional Commission] and Jeff Parker for their leadership when it comes to working together. They checked their egos at the door. They’re very customer-centric in their decision making.”

Several of the speakers focused on the economic impact of the GA 400 corridor, including Chairman Beach who said, “Madame Secretary, you are in the economic engine of our state. We have 900 technology companies up the corridor, we have several Fortune 500 companies. Your investment in Georgia 400 will continue to spur economic growth new jobs.”

Congresswoman Handel stated that “the biggest impact will be on the quality of life on who call this region and corridor home. Moms and Dads will be able to make it to their child’s baseball games, get to that recital without having to take off a half a day from work.” Commissioner McMurry, concurred saying “this means getting 20-25 minutes of your life back as you commute along this corridor.”

Congressman Woodall emphasized the historic nature of the grant, thanking Secretary Chao for “the single largest [transportation highway] grant in the United States of America.”

Chairman Tanner emphasized the importance of this project as a part of handling growth, “we’re growing at 100,000 a year in this 13-county region, that’s a million a decade. We will continue to partner with you Madame Secretary to look for new ways to move Georgians around in the Atlanta region as we continue to be the #1 state in the country to do business.”

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