Catoosa County Commissioners had applied for federal stimulus (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds for the widening of Highway 151 at the I-75 exit in Ringgold.  State Senator Jeff Mullis who represents Catoosa, Walker, Dade and Chattooga County told Catoosa County Commissioners that while the project did not get federal funds it would be a priority for state funding. 

According to The Walker County Messegner:

The project, which would widen Ga. 151 to four lanes in front of the 58-acre plot of land designated to be the Catoosa County Commerce Center, was pushed back to 2018 on the Georgia Department of Transportation priority list during July.

County officials want the center to house suppliers for the upcoming Volkswagen plant set to open in Chattanooga in 2011.

In October the Ga. 151 project was removed completely from GDOT’s list, but Mullis said the state expected to receive stimulus funds that could be used on the project.

Mullis represents Catoosa County as a senator and is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. He also oversees the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority, whose main task is to bring new industry to Catoosa, Walker, Dade and Chattooga counties.

Mullis said a major factor in acquiring stimulus funds is having a project be “shovel ready” under federal guidelines — something the project did not meet.

He said he still expects state funding for the project and that only two road projects in north Georgia were approved for stimulus funds. The projects are at Post Road and Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe and on McFarland Avenue in Rossville.

While the projects on Post Road and Battlefield Parkway received ARRA funds, two other projects in Mullis’ District DID receive funding as well.  Earlier this week Governor Perdue announced that a project to resurface Gore – Subligna Road and improvements to The Narrows road in Chattooga County had been approved for almost 3/4 of a million dollars in stimulus funds.  State Representative Barbara Massey Reece said that the projects were applied for by County Commissioner Jason Winters and met the "shovel ready" status.