ARTBA Selects Moreland Interstate, Hartsfield Airport as Top Projects

Fri February 14, 2003 - Southeast Edition

The Tom Moreland Interchange and Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport have been selected as Georgia’s top two transportation infrastructure projects of the 20th century by the Washington, D.C.-based American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). Former Georgia Gov. Marvin Griffin also was named the state’s top transportation public official of the past century for his advocacy of transportation development and investment.

The selections were revealed at an even hosted by ARTBA’s Georgia affiliate — the Georgia Highway Contractors Association (GHCA). ARTBA Chairman Tom Hill, chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Oldcastle Materials Inc., presented awards to Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) officials, GHCA President Steve Shepherd and GHCA Executive Director Therol Brown.

ARTBA, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, conducted a national survey to help identify the top transportation infrastructure projects and public officials of the past century in all 50 states. The survey was sent to members of Congress, the nation’s governors, state transportation department heads, newspaper editors, state and local chamber of commerce executives, and college history professors.

Named for the Georgia transportation commissioner who oversaw its construction, the Tom Moreland Interchange first opened in 1987 and was built to help alleviate increasing traffic congestion. Today, it remains a heavily traveled interstate connector and carries 300,000 cars daily.

Work on the $86-million project started in 1982 when it became obvious that the existing interchange was inadequate to handle traffic from I-85, a major north-south highway, and I-285 which circles the city. The complex connection covers 311 acres (126 ha), including 6.4 mi. (10.3 km) of roadway and 2.6 mi. (4.2 km) of bridges. It was a keystone in Georgia’s “Freeing the Freeways” program.

Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports, is a main hub f or national and international air travel and a major force in Georgia’s economy.

The airport has implemented a $5.4-billion expansion program. It accommodates an average of 1,250 flights a day and served nearly 76-million passengers last year. The facility also is served by the world’s most extensive airport rail system, including an internal subway system and direct connection with the city’s transit network. The total annual regional economic impact of the airport is nearly $17 billion. It also provides more than 44,000 jobs to the area’s residents.

ARTBA recognized former Gov. Marvin Griffin as the top Georgia public official. Griffin served from 1955-59. He is widely credited with “getting Georgia out of the mud” and made increased investment for roads a cornerstone of his administration.

For more information, call 202/289-4434 or visit