Georgia's first toll road funded with private investment and its most expensive transportation contract in history is seeking a contractor, offering hope to thousands of commuters traveling through Cobb and Cherokee counties - if they are willing to pay a fee.
The project, to build optional toll lanes alongside I-75 and I-575, could cost as much as $1 billion. If successful, it would be the first time after eight years of trying that a Georgia law intended to attract private investment into public roadbuilding yielded a finished project.
But it carries a risk: The private roadbuilders are to be paid back by toll money -- and up to $300 million in taxpayer funds.
"It is historic," said Gov. Nathan Deal, noting that the corridor was one of the most congested in the state. "I think it will set a pattern as to whether or not you can go to this kind of cooperation with the private sector as a vehicle for advancing projects that state government does not have the money to do on its own."
Read the entire article at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.