GDOT project backlog reaches $1 billion

by: Erin Coleman Updated:

The Georgia Department of Transportation’s backlog on maintenance projects now stands at a $1 billion statewide.

In the metro Atlanta area, that means thousands of repairs are left undone.

DOT officials said 500 of them involve guardrails and medians.

A section on Interstate 285 West, just before the Interstate 20 interchange, got Channel 2’s Erin Coleman’s attention.

The concrete median is crumbling, with part of it sticking out into the roadway, Coleman said. In other areas there are holes in the medians and entire sections missing.

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“Actually my son was in an accident. He lost control, so I definitely think it’s a safety issue, you know? It’s very dangerous,” driver Jackie Lowe said.

Drivers also pointed out the missing guardrails. The steel barrier that’s supposed to protect you,  in many areas it’s just not there.

“We’ve gotten behind due to the economy the past few years, our budget dramatically dropping like it did, reduction in motor fuel collections,” DOT spokeswoman Jill Goldberg said. “Anything that comes up that’s safety or emergency related is going to move to the top of that list, which then may push things down that aren’t of the greatest importance.”

Some drivers argued crumbling concrete and missing guardrails pose a big safety risk.

A DOT spokeswoman said crews are trying to get around to as many problem areas as they can.

Right now, the DOT is in the final stages of hiring a contractor to fix all of the guardrails statewide, which should cut down on the number of outstanding repairs significantly.