Gov. Nathan Deal today signed into law House Bill 202, the congressional district balancing bill, and Senate Bill 70, the Design Build “best value” bill, at the Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce.
HB 202 waives the requirement to balance funds by congressional districts for all interstate improvements, certain freight corridor projects and projects of regional significance.
“These exemptions acknowledge that the interstates and freight corridors are a state priority, with the cost not being borne solely by one or two congressional districts,” said Deal. “These projects provide statewide benefits while furthering the completion of Georgia’s transportation goals. This bill will allow us to better prioritize transportation projects that help to create jobs, decrease traffic holdup for freight and quicken the flow of goods to Georgians.”
Under the new law, the state can move forward on transportation priorities such as the managed lane plan and large interstate interchange projects, and it can prepare for the increased freight flows from the deepening of the Savannah Harbor.
SB 70 allows GDOT to build upon its already successful Design Build program. Design Build projects give the private sector the ability to utilize innovation in both the design and construction of a project. Under the new legislation, GDOT will have more flexibility to take into account the long-term value of a particular project rather than merely the cheapest upfront cost. This bidding process will allow professional engineers to conduct a thorough, transparent evaluation process that will yield more innovation and deliver better results for Georgians.
The measures outlined in both HB 202 and SB 70 will allow GDOT to continue saving taxpayer dollars and delivering projects on time and on budget.