The South Point development located at I-75 exit 218 has been in progress since 2005, and this summer the final connection was made to complete South Point Boulevard. This is the roadway that leads from State Route 81 and the apartment complex south towards the main entrance and out onto SR 20.
During the McDonough council meeting on May 21, approval was granted to construct the final segment of roadway. Completing the road will encourage pedestrian and cyclist movement from the apartments and open up additional land for retail development.
South Point has been the recent site of major activity. Jim n’ Nicks BBQ has opened with Cowboy Chicken and Miller Ale’s Steakhouse coming soon. The much-anticipated Dave & Busters will begin construction this fall, several new hotels have opened in the area, and other retail announcements are expected for months to come.
Thank you to the city of McDonough for its continued support and community development efforts that have allowed South Point to prosper. Hard work from city staff and council members should not go unappreciated to secure the new tenants and businesses.
It is important to celebrate the retail expansion and new restaurants choosing to locate within Henry County, but we certainly understand citizens’ concerns on necessary transportation improvements. The good news is projects are programmed, and we want to share that information.
Beginning in the spring of next year, Georgia DOT will break ground on the diverging diamond interchange for SR 20/81. The DDI has been implemented in north metro Atlanta and utilizes a traffic shift to streamline left-hand turns. The project will take 10-12 months to build and traffic operations will improve by thirty to forty-percent once finished. Solving the interstate exit backup will allow additional space for motorists to proceed through neighboring intersections.
Recent correspondence from Georgia DOT concerning the intersection of state routes 20 and 81 has stated a need to reprogram six traffic signals within the area and widen State Route 81. A state-funded quick response project has been requested by the commissioners to establish a second left-hand turning lane from SR 81 southbound onto highway 20 eastbound. This project has not yet been funded but the county is committed to working with Georgia DOT at every opportunity.
Widening state route 81 at this time may not be feasible, but key intersection improvements could relieve the backups. Moving Henry Forward encourages the SPLOST V committee to consider funding the improvements at SR 20 and SR 81, and funding an improvement project for SR 81 and McDonough Lovejoy Road. Installing a center median along highway 81 with appropriate turn lanes would also be beneficial.
August 1, 2018 update: South Point Boulevard has been completed and is now open.