The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), in partnership with the State Road and Tollway Authority, announced last Friday that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has given final environmental approval on the Northwest Corridor Project. The project includes the extension of tolled managed lanes along I-75 from I-285 to Hickory Grove Road and along I-575 to Sixes Road in Cobb and Cherokee counties.
Through the signing of the Record of Decision (ROD), FHWA has given the GDOT the authority to move forward with the implementation of the project.
“I appreciate the hard work and determination of the transportation partners to move this project forward — it is a vital part of a system-wide transportation effort to address congestion, mobility and livability concerns in metropolitan Atlanta and the state,” Gov. Nathan Deal said.
The signing of the ROD clears the way for the rights-of-way acquisition and construction phases of the project to move forward. In late 2012, GDOT issued a Request for Proposals and will receive proposals from private entities in June 2013 for the design, construction and partial finance of the project.
The project is the first in the state to be built using the Public Private Partnership (P3) model, which allows for private participation in the financing as well as risk-sharing in building the project. It also allows for a new streamlined delivery process. The private sector will be responsible for the design, construction and limited financing during construction, to be repaid by the state after the facility is open. The design process will begin later this year. Construction is set to begin in 2014. The project is planned to open to traffic in 2018.