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January 19, 2016

GDOT Commissioner McMurry Outlines Transportation Budget With Legislators

Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry yesterday outlined his agency's budget requests for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 before legislators at a joint budget committee hearing.  Thanks to significant increases in motor fuels tax revenue from HB 170 and the passage of a long term federal transportation bill, GDOT expects to dramatically increase both road construction and maintenance over the next 18 months.  GDOT's amended FY2016 budget includes increase of nearly $462 million for capital construction projects and an increase of $58 million for capital maintenance projects.

Commissioner McMurry emphasized that capital maintenance will continue to be a major priority for the Department.  With more certainty on federal transportation funding, GDOT can move to the "Florida model" whereby maintenance is largely funded with federal dollars and new construction is funded with state dollars.  In addition to the new $58 million capital maintenance request, the Department of Transportation is also requesting $200 million for a new routine maintenance program that will utilize contractors for services such as highway mowing and small crack and patch repair freeing up GDOT staff for larger maintenance projects.

As a result of HB 170 the motor fuels tax revenue for FY 2017 is expected to $1.66 billion, nearly double the $866 million projected in 2016.  This increase in revenue allows the Department of Transportation to allocate more than $900 million more for road projects in FY 2017, increasing the Department's total overall budget from $2.577 billion in FY 2016 to $3.4 billion in FY2017.

The House and Senate budget subcommittee members will meet at 1pm on Wednesday to review the specifics of the amended FY2016 GDOT budget.