As your Mayor, I have made it a priority to continue our critical updates to the City of Atlanta’s infrastructure. Through the Renew Atlanta infrastructure bond, we are investing $250 million – the single most significant infrastructure investment in modern times – to improve the look, feel and experience of our City.
Thanks to overwhelming voter approval, Atlanta is now clearing an infrastructure backlog of more than $900 million, which had threatened to grow to more than $1.5 billion if left unchecked.
I am pleased to announce that since December 2015, the Renew Atlanta infrastructure bond has enabled us to make considerable progress across the City of Atlanta, improving the quality of life for all our residents. To date, more than 500 improvement projects are underway in neighborhoods and more than $170 million is under contract.
We are synchronizing thousands of traffic lights to make commutes easier. We are replacing and repairing bridges to connect communities. We are replacing thousands of street lights to make neighborhoods safer. We are upgrading fire stations, police stations and recreation centers, and recently opened the new Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center in the Old Fourth Ward.
We are resurfacing Atlanta’s major roads and repairing city streets with a Complete Streets approach that addresses curbs, sidewalks, bike lanes, crossing signals and ADA ramps to decrease congestion, improve mobility and provide transportation options.
Our award-winning North Avenue Smart Corridor is utilizing the latest technology in our effort to engineer an efficient transportation network for the future. Though a coalition of global private-sector companies, Atlanta is partnering with São Paulo, Brazil and Shanghai, China to identify and address strategic road challenges in cities around the world.
I am excited about all the improvements coming to the City of Atlanta, and I am proud of the vision it took to make them possible.
The City of Atlanta has been able to tackle its infrastructure backlog in a significant way because we spent the last eight years working to get our financial house in order. We reformed our public pension system. We increased our cash reserves from $7.4 million to $200 million. We received nine consecutive credit ratings increases, to AA+ — and I fully intend to pursue a AAA rating in the near future, the highest a city can achieve.
We have accomplished all this without once raising property taxes.
Thanks to your support and engagement, the City of Atlanta is investing responsibly and proactively in improving the lives of our residents and the health of our businesses. Through the good work of Renew Atlanta, we are building an exciting future for our city in the 21st Century.