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NEWS IN BRIEF, Continued from page 11

investment earnings and a quarter of the state’s surplus will be designated for roads. Money raised by road users will be reserved for infrastructure as an annual $4 million in diesel tax revenue will no longer be directed to general revenue starting July 1, 2017. Though democrats and a handful

of republicans criticized the plan for being short-term and relying upon sur- plus funds that cannot be guaranteed

each year, there was no traction for an alternative plan to raise fuel taxes. Hutchinson and the majority party- GOP were opposed to any tax increase without an equal tax cut somewhere else.

Senate Minority Leader Keith

Ingram (D-West Memphis) criticized the plan, “I think it creates a lot of problems potentially for the budget down the road, and I think a lot of people – certainly the transportation committee – were ready to address the problem on a long-term basis instead of



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this one-year-at-a-time deal where you can’t make any plans. It’s not a good way to conduct business.” While signing, the Gov. com-

mented, “I actually believe that … we’ve got a pretty good plan for the next five years here.”

LARGEST TRUCK-ONLY ROADWAY PLANNED Georgia plans to build two lanes

limited to trucks along 38 miles of Interstate 75, a heavily traveled freight corridor south of Atlanta. It will be the largest truck-only project in the nation and is expected to cost $2 billion. The project is ambitious, said

Robert Poole, a transportation expert and co-founder of The Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank. Truck-only lanes are usually reserved for short distances, such as moving heavy vehicles out of the way of faster car traffic climbing hills. Georgia is the first state to build

these kinds of lanes without utilizing tolling or public-private highway build- ing partnerships as a way to pay for the truck-only lanes, he said. “What the Georgia Department of

Transportation is proposing is the only serious plan with a funding source,” Poole said. The trucking industry says that

truck-only lanes could ease congestion in heavily-traveled freight corridors. “The Port of Savannah is expected

Per Diem Plus™, a proprietary software application, which provides automatic per diem and expense tracking to truckers.


to grow pretty substantially and gener- ate a lot of traffic along the I-75 cor- ridor, so yes, it might make sense to add truck-only lanes there,” said Darrin


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