BOC approves project list for sales tax funds

LAWRENCEVILLE - Improvements to the Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road interchanges, widenings to many of Gwinnett's most congested thoroughfares, sidewalks, intersection improvements and more will be built with the $316.6 million in sales tax funds expected to be collected for transportation during the next five years.

Commissioners approved a 13-page project list drafted by a citizens committee for the funding.

"That's a good list," Chairman Charles Bannister said. "As soon as the money comes in, I hope we can get to work on it."

Because of costs to operate and maintain parks, libraries and police and fire stations, the transportation portion of the 2009 sales tax program is expected to move quickly.

A highlight of the list includes $61 million to complete the Sugarloaf Parkway extension, under construction past its terminus at Ga. Highway 120 to Ga. Highway 316 near Dacula. It took the majority of the $92 million set aside for major road improvements in the first tier of funding.

The committee also placed a high priority on resurfacing and bridge improvements, with more than $50 million earmarked for each of those endeavors. Nearly $37 million each was set aside for intersection improvements and sidewalks.

Funding was also allocated to school safety projects, safety and alignment improvements, planning efforts, unpaved roads and traffic control.

"It's spread out pretty good throughout the county," Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said of the list. "It puts a highlight on what people want, which is mobility, whether it's in a car or on a sidewalk. ... I'm very appreciative of the citizens that put in a ton of time."