Originally created 01/29/97

Questions road chief's projections 012997 - The Augusta Chronicle



Re the Jan. 24 article, "Transportation chief urges gasoline-tax hike":

It is both frightening and typical of the way many state and local bureaucratic departments project required funding. Georgia Transportation Commissioner Wayne Shackelford "told lawmakers the state's 20-year transportation plan, which notes $30 billion in capital needs through 2015, is about $12 billion short." Mr. Shackelford is calling for an 8-cent-per-gallon tax hike to pay for road improvement.

The 20-year plan had to be initiated in 1995, barely two years ago! Whoever compiled and approved that plan should be taken to task for extremely poor perception and judgement. Road conditions that would require an additional $12 billion (40 percent of the original plan amount) surely would have been discovered two years ago.

Before approving any funding from this point on, lawmakers should investigate the methods the Transportation Department uses for projecting required funding. A $12 billion (or 40 percent) oversight within a two-year period of a 20-year plan is just too gross of an error!

Henry O. Mitchell, Augusta