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The Honorable Erik Johnson
Dear Senator Johnson:
Thank you for having Marcie follow-up by responding by phone to my previous letter. Essentially, what she said was that we should not worry about public hearings because the Tybee road-widening project has not yet completed the review process. Additionally, she stated that this was federal money and not State funds.
My question back to her, which I've asked her to forward to you, is how did the project get this far without justification for the feasibility of such an undertaking?
Please reason with me.
GADOT estimates that there will be the need to accommodate 14,000 cars on Tybee by 2005 - down from their original estimate of 20,000.
Tybee has roughly 1,000-metered parking spaces and 1,000 city lot parking spaces. Let's assume that there are another 1,000 parking spaces in private lots - a generous assumption. The road from Lazaretto Creek to the end of Butler is 2.9 miles or 20,592 feet @ 30 ft. per car X 2 + 1373 cars. (Keep in mind that Tybee barricades the center two lanes for emergency vehicles on busy weekends so only two lanes and not four.) This equals capacity for 4,373 cars assuming that all local residents hunker down and don't drive anywhere.
When I raised this capacity concern with Mr. Palladi, GADOT, he suggested that we needed to build a parking garage. So, with the help of civil engineer friends I began these calculations.
Please bear with me again.
We now need to park 9,627 cars. We build a one-acre parking lot to store 79 cars per floor ( 9627/79 = 121.860.) Otherwise, the garage only needs to be 122 floors high!
But it gets better. My engineering friends tell me that it costs $6,000 per space to build a garage. Then, the cost would be $57,762,000. Where should Tybee get these funds?
My point is that no one has really looked at how outrageous this project is. Tybee's simply too little to accommodate 14,000 visitors a day, thus other solutions must be found.
Additionally, just because it's federal highway money is no reason that you, and other Georgia legislators, shouldn't examine this project. It's Georgia taxpayer's money regardless of how or where it is collected.
I thank you for your prompt response to my first communication and am hopeful that you will give careful consideration to my concerns.
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