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DOT Head Says Presidential Parkway Project May Be Abandoned

September 20, 1985

ATLANTA (AP) _ The head of the state Department of Transportation says he is discouraged by delay on a proposed parkway linking downtown Atlanta to Jimmy Carter’s presidential library, and may abandon the $22 million project.

Transportation Commissioner Tom Moreland said Thursday that his department is considering several options after two court rulings against construction of the 2.4-mile road, including dropping it altogether.

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger ordered work stopped on the parkway this summer after ruling that the city of Atlanta had no right to transfer nine acres of park property to the Transportation Department for the parkway.

That case has gone to the state Supreme Court. The library is under construction.

This week, a federal appeals court invalidated the environmental impact statement for the project, meaning that the parkway cannot be built until a new study is done.

Moreland said the legal issues blocking construction of the four-lane road ″are solvable″ but may be too time-consuming.

″Time is money,″ Moreland said.

The department is also being sued by one of the construction companies involved in the project for breach of contract. The suit by Arapaho Construction Inc., filed Thursday in DeKalb Superior Court and assigned to Seeliger, alleges the department violated a provision of the construction contract promising to ″provide right of way in advance of actual construction activities.″

Arapaho was to construct 13 new traffic bridges and four pedestrian bridges for the parkway. The company is seeking $1.5 million in damages, including at least $470,000 for expenses the firm says it incurred from delays through Aug. 31.

In addition, Arapaho wants damages of $3,703.62 per day from the department for every idle workday and $1 million in exemplary damages, contending its reputation has been damaged through its association with the department.

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