Saturday, August 16, 2008
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Gwinnett Daily Post
LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett Transportation Director Brian Allen said he was disappointed to receive only one proposal for a public-private initiative to extend Ronald Reagan Parkway to Interstate 85.
While about 60 people from 25 to 30 firms attended a pre-proposal conference, only one turned in a bid: Skanska Infrastructure Development.
Over the next two months, officials will evaluate the proposal, which does not yet indicate whether drivers would pay tolls on the three-mile extension.
The project has been considered a future project since the road opened in the early 1990s but problems with the route, along wetlands and near neighborhoods as well as a price tag have kept it from fruition.
Allen said the project could take up the transportation department's entire share of a proposed extension to the county sales tax, and federal and state aid may not be possible. So the county has reached to the private sector for the first time, considering a financing endeavor that has become more popular across the world.
Allen said Friday that officials would likely interview Skanska professionals in the next several weeks, hoping to make a recommendation on the proposal in October of November.
If commissioners accept the proposal, the firm would begin work to explore the financial and physical viability of the project. Public comments would be included in the route discussions, Allen said.