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30 July 2008

Levell Says Gwinnett County Needs Rapid Rail...

...But not necessarily operated by MARTA.

In a news release put out by the Bruce Levell for Gwinnett County Commission campaign, Levell announced the initiation of a comprehensive plan for rail service along the I-85 Corridor in Gwinnett County, through a joint partnership between the Gwinnett Village CID and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC).

Bruce Levell is a member of the Gwinnett Village CID Board.

The plan, which has a target completion date of March 2009, is expected to be completed by a consortium of the engineering and planning firms HDR, Kimley Horn, and Parsons Brinckerhoff. Estimated cost for the plan is $180,000, which will be jointly funded by the Gwinnett Village CID and an ARC grant. The plan will follow the recommendations of the Transit Planning Board's adopted "Concept 3" Vision, which calls for an extension of heavy rail from Doraville to Norcross, followed by a new light rail system from Norcross generally along the I-85 Corridor to Gwinnett Place and the Gwinnett Center area. The plan is expected to call for the northern alignment of a new light rail system along Satellite Boulevard.

"The most important aspect of this plan is that it can be used by any rail operator that the voters and the county choose," said LeVell. "I have never said that MARTA should be the rail operator for Gwinnett - I have only said that Gwinnett needs rail transit. This plan will show us how to get there," he continued.

Bruce Levell, a Republican, is competing for his party's nomination for the district 1 Gwinnett County Commission seat in next week's primary run-off. His opponent, Shirley Lasseter finished first in the Republican primary with about 42% of the vote.