Head of GDOT talks infrastructure in nation's capital - CBS46 News

Head of GDOT talks infrastructure in nation's capital

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry gave CBS46 an exclusive interview talking about his meeting in Washington D.C. this week.

"This was adjacent to the White House in the Eisenhower Executive Building," McMurry said.

About 160 state and local officials were invited to talk about roads, transportation and reforming the nation's infrastructure. GDOT was recognized for the fast rebuilding of I-85 after the fire and collapse earlier this year.

"We were very honored to be recognized by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao," McMurry said. "She recognized the work Georgia did on the Interstate 85 rebuild as a model of partnership."

Mcmurry said the meeting focused on ways to cut bureaucracy to allow projects to move forward faster.

"That has been reduced now, where you can start advancing your project by doing your environmental work and design in absence of having all the money so you can be ready if there is new revenue," McMurry said.

Even road project's environmental approval process is being streamlined between the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"They are trying to streamline that so that you just go to one federal agency to get your permit and not two," McMurry said.

Mcmurry says the work done getting I-85 rebuilt sets Georgia in a good position for future project funding.

"A little over 1.8 billion dollars, I believe, that we are applying for projects in this state," McMurry said. "I think we are well positioned because we do utilize public private partnerships in an efficient way."

Mcmurry said he was also able to brag on a national level about traffic projects moving forward in metro Atlanta.

"Working on building express around on I-285 and actually on the way to start buying some property along I-285," McMurry said.

Modernizing our nation's infrastructure was a big component of this meeting. McMurry says that includes planning for future transportation technology.

"We have to start thinking about our infrastructure future differently," McMurry said. "So we were challenged, given a challenge statement to come back and say what is it as a nation we need to be doing to go to the next generation of transportation, which is a lot more technology driven than ever before."

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