State’s transportation agencies lay out list of projects they hope infrastructure bill will fund

ATLANTA — Metro Atlanta transportation leaders laid out their priorities and their hopes for the $2 trillion infrastructure bill.

President Joe Biden’s administration has a plan that will add trillions of dollars for major projects all over the U.S. The infrastructure proposals cover everything from roads to rail lines.

The Georgia Department of Transportation stated federal funds could help it address the roughly 1,400 bridges that need to be replaced across the state.

“We will take all we can get, but the stability of a multi-year transportation bill is very vital to a state transportation agency,” said GDOT’s Russell McMurry.

At MARTA, its CEO said the bill could help boost its plan to focus on equity in areas in need of mass transit.

“We’re poised at a point in MARTA’s history to really advance some really important projects in some of our poor communities,” MARTA CEO Jeff Parker said.

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Rep. Nikema Williams said one way to reduce congestion equitably is expanding MARTA outside of the city.

“I want to find ways to help move mass transit into more counties that are home to many working-class families that deserve the same benefits to mass transit that large metro cities receive,” Williams said.

The bill still needs to move through Congress and calls for a tax hike for corporations and the wealthy.

Republicans have been critical of nontraditional issues in the bill like green energy investment.

“We do want to see certain things that go through. We do think that good investments in infrastructure are needed, and they are good for America. But what we don’t want to see woven into that are policies of the far-left that stifle the economy and hurt American families,” said Rep. Drew Ferguson.

For some metro Atlanta residents, they hope something can pass that will help ease their commutes.

“Everybody comes in and out on (I)-85 every day, so I think it will be beneficial,” one driver said.

The White House said the $2 trillion will pay for itself over the next 15 years through tax increases on corporations and the wealthy.

Republicans have been almost unanimously opposed to the tax increase.

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