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Georgia’s infrastructure receives first ‘report card’ in nearly five years

Published: Jan. 24, 2019 at 6:21 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - This week, Georgia’s overall infrastructure receives it’s first “report card” from the American Society of Civil Engineers in about five years.

The organization takes into account the conditions of everything from the ports, railroads, and public parks, to airports and roads.

WTOC took a closer look at the ‘roads’ score for you, and we spoke to officials with the Georgia Department of Transportation about the latest grade.

GDOT has a lot in the works for the fifth transportation district, which includes Chatham County.

One of those projects is the widening of West Bay Street from the viaduct to 516.

The American Society of Civil Engineers upgraded Georgia’s roadways from a C- in 2014 to a C+ in their latest assessment.

Even though a "C" doesn’t sound that great, a Georgia Department of Transportation representative says it’s important to put that in context nationally.

“And when you look at other states, C+ is just about the best score any state in the nation gets. That includes Florida, who does a lot of their infrastructure improvements based on tolling," said Media and Government Relations Liaison for the Georgia Department of Transportation, Natalie Dale.

According to the infrastructure report card, out of about 128,000 miles of roads in Georgia, about four percent are in poor condition.

Out of Georgia’s five neighboring states, only Alabama has fewer miles of roads with that ‘poor’ assessment.

“I don’t think a lot of Georgians really put that into perspective until they leave Georgia, until they’re driving outside of Georgia and they see some of the deteriorating conditions and some other things that are happening in other states," Dale said.

Funding plays a big part in improving roadways, and the report acknowledges recent state transportation funding legislation that will help projects move along faster, and not rely as heavily on federal funding.

“Certainly we’re one of the highest scoring states on this report, but we’ve got to break beyond that C+. We’ve got to get into that B and that A category, and that’s going to rely on not just federal assistance, but our continued focus on making sure that we’re taking care of our needs as a state," Dale said.

To view the full ASCE report, click here.

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