Sunday November 29th, 2015 9:07AM

Transportation officials say lack of federal funding slows work

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - State Department of Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden told a Gainesville audience Thursday that lack of funding from the federal government is hampering highway projects not just in Georgia, but all over the country.

Golden was on the Gainesville campus of the University of North Georgia along with other transportation officials for the Annual Transportation Forum sponsored by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

"In a nutshell what's going on is the 18.4-cents of federal gas tax we send to Washington is not enough to fund the [Highway] Trust Fund that Congress has said we're going to spend on transportation," said Golden.

He told the packed auditorium he sees the fund becoming insolvent as early as August.

DOT District Engineer Bayne Smith brought credence to Golden's statements as he outlined major transportation projects for the Hall County area. While a number of those projects are underway, there are those that are being planned, but have no funding. The widening of SR 11/US 129 from Limestone Parkway to Nopone Road is one such project; the widening of SR 60/Thompson Bridge Road from SR 136 to Yellow Creek Road is another.

Hall County Transportation Director Srikanth Yamala shared some of the same concerns with the audience, outlining four specific projects (Spout Springs Road, the Sardis Road Connector, SR 13/Atlanta Highway, SR 369/Browns Bridge Road) that all need expansion or completion, but are stalled because of lack of dollars.

Yamala said local and state government is going to have to search for other sources of funding, rather than relying on the federal government to help with needed transportation projects.

Hall Co. has unique transportation challenges

Golden also pointed out that the Hall County area has unique transportation challenges, mainly because of Lake Lanier.

"With all the lake crossings and water crossings - and obviously bridges are very expensive - a big part of your infrastructure up here is going towards that," said Golden.

Smith reviewed several bridge projects for the audience, updating the group spcifically on the construction currently underway on SR 284/Clarks Bridge Road. So far, two of 12 caissons have been poured at the bridge site near the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue. That $10.2 million project is slated for completion in December 2015.

Smith noted that almost every major bridge in the county is slated for maintenance or replacement in the near future.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US stocks post sixth straight year of gains
U.S. stocks ended a strong 2014 with moderate declines Wednesday.
4:43PM ( 10 months ago )
Palestinians push ahead in pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel
Stung by a resounding defeat in the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
1:57PM ( 10 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 10 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 10 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 10 months ago )
32,000 acres selected for 2015-2016 prescribed burn season in North Ga.
Fire managers with the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest have begun the first of several prescribed burns as part of the U.S Department of Agriculture's (USDA) "2015-2016 prescribed fire season."
7:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Run game, defense helps Dogs seal victory over Jackets, 9-win campaign
Mark Richt trotted over to a corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Georgia band played and the red-clad faithful had nothing but cheers for the embattled coach.
11:59PM ( 9 hours ago )
IRS phone scammers are making calls again in Hall Co.
Hall County authorities say there's been a resurgence of phone calls from scammers posing as IRS agents.
11:59AM ( 21 hours ago )
Molly the Firehouse Dog brings smiles to first responders, hospital patients
Molly is a well-known face around the Hall County Fire Department and Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where she serves to comfort others during times of stress.
10:26AM ( 22 hours ago )
Gainesville runoff election is Tuesday
A runoff election for a seat on the Gainesville City Council will be held Tuesday.
9:15AM ( 23 hours ago )