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Review: Fewer Georgia transportation projects cost state more

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(The Center Square) — Georgia transportation officials appear to be letting fewer road projects and paying more for them, a possible sign of inflation’s toll on construction spending.

Georgia Department of Transportation officials previously sounded the alarm that inflation was driving up the cost of projects.

A review of GDOT announcements by The Center Square over the first 10 months of the past two fiscal years shows the agency’s board has awarded nearly 21.3% fewer project contracts this fiscal year, but the cost of those has increased by about 16%.

Based on announcements, between July 2022 and April 2023, transportation officials said they awarded 221 contracts totaling $1.7 billion. Between July 2023 and April 2024, the agency said it awarded 174 projects costing $1.9 billion.

A department spokesperson did not respond to a request to confirm the numbers. In October 2022, an agency spokeswoman confirmed to The Center Square that inflation was driving up the cost of road projects in Georgia, with some project bids more than 40% higher than projected.

Last week, transportation officials announced they let an additional eight projects. On Friday, Peach State officials approved $16.9 million in loans and grants for five transportation infrastructure projects across the state.

The state’s fiscal year starts on July 1.

Transportation funding has been a priority for Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. At the start of the year, the governor recommended an additional $1.5 billion in state funds for the Georgia Department of Transportation for projects that “directly help move commuters and freight.”