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House Legislation

House Approves $16 Million Reauthorization for Rehabilitation and Safegaurding of Neglected Urban Roads in Fourth District

April 2, 1998

(Washington, D.C.) - The first hurdle towards the rehabilitation of long neglected major transportation corridors in DeKalb County was cleared last night when the House passed the re-autorization of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), known as BESTEA, (Better Efficiency Surface Transportation and Equity Act.) This key transportaiton bill passed the House by a 337-80 vote. The passage of the measure will provide funding for the enhancement of Candler Road, Memorial Drive and Buford Highway; the extension of Lithonia Industrial Boulevard (railroad overpass); and the construction of a bridge structure at Perimeter Center and Ashford Dunwoody Road in north DeKalb County.

The measure called for $7 million in enhancements and revitalization of 3.3 miles of Candler Road extending from Memorial Drive to I-285 to include the creation and repair of sidewalks, bus pull-offs to rid traffic congestion, and the creation of landscaped tree lawns.

Seven miles of enhancements are planned for Memorial Drive, totaling $7.5 million were approved. From Candler Road to the City of Stone Mountain the project will include a pedestrian facilities location study to be coordinated with bus circulation, planning and design, pre-engineering and the construction of pedestrian facilities. After the vote McKinney stated, "These improvements are long over due. Candler Road has long been neglected and the working families of the area are tired of the eye-sore."

The Perimiter Center and Ashford Dunwoody project will construct a bridge structure over I-285 from Perimeter Center Parkway to Lake Hern Drive and will make improvements to the Ashford Dunwoody at the I-285 interchange. This two-phase project will include the finalization of the engineering concept, bridge construction design, and the completion of right-of-way plans.

"While the County put forward many worthy projects, I prioritized Candler Road, Memorial Drive and Buford Highway as the projects that would benefit working families the most. When the mid period, three year window opens up I will make sure that the rest of the funding for Buford Highway is there." The Higway bill authorizes transportation programs and projects for six years. There is a midperiod review that will open up a window for changes in its third year. Federal Funding will be for the extension of the Lithonia Industrial Boulevard and the enhancement of Buford Highway.

The remaining hurdles to secure these projects are for them to make it through the conference committee and signed into law by President Clinton.

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