The Downtown Connector from the North Avenue bridge.
The Downtown Connector from the North Avenue bridge.

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) board today approved the Atlanta Region’s Plan, a long-range blueprint that details the investments and programs needed to ensure metro Atlanta’s future success and improve the region’s quality of life.

The plan includes an $85.1 billion investment in the region’s transportation system. Nearly two-thirds of the funds will be needed to maintain existing infrastructure, such as paving roads and repairing bridges, while $28 billion will be spent to expand the region’s transportation network.

Expenditures through 2040 include:

· Expansion of the network of managed toll lanes on area highways (I-75, I-575, Ga. 400, I-285 topside, I-20, I-85) promising better commutes for people who ride transit, carpool or pay a toll. Cost: $7 billion (for projects not yet under construction)

· Widening and improving major arterial roads. Cost: $5.8 billion

· Highway interchange improvements – 13 new interchanges and 22 major upgrades. Cost: $3.1 billion

· Potential transit expansion projects (Clayton County, Ga. 400, I-20 East, Clifton Corridor, Connect Cobb, Atlanta BeltLine/Streetcar). Cost: $11.9 billion

The plan, developed with public input, incorporates all of ARC’s planning areas: transportation, community development, natural resources, workforce development and aging & health services. The ARC board previously adopted a plan framework that focuses on a three-fold vision: providing world-class infrastructure; fostering healthy, livable communities; and building a competitive economy.

“This plan outlines the steps needed for metro Atlanta to remain a vibrant, dynamic region, with a high quality of life and a thriving economy,” said ARC Board Chair Kerry Armstrong. “It will help improve mobility, create more walkable communities, ensure we have a clean, abundant water supply and meet the needs of our region’s fast-growing population of older adults.”

ARC forecasts that over the next 25 years, the Atlanta region’s population will grow by 2.5 million – the equivalent of adding all of today’s metro Charlotte. The Atlanta Region’s Plan takes this growth into account, programming funding for new transportation options and encouraging the development of walkable, mixed-use centers and corridors that provide better access to jobs and services.

The plan is available online at www.atlantaregionsplan.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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