This is a continuation of the SPLOST V District II meeting. The previous article discussed the Jonesboro Road widening project, Jonesboro Road at Mitchell Road intersection improvement, and Kensley Grace Aquatic Center.
The SPLOST V committee is working to gather a list of possible projects for each commission district. The committee would like to hear from the public on the proposed projects, whether in favor or opposition. No final determination on district projects will be made until early 2019, and the full recommendations of the committee will be presented to the board of commissioners in May 2019.
One possible major project within commission district II will be I-75 exit 216 at state route 155. No funding has been committed towards an eventual expansion of the exit, and the SPLOST V committee will consider preliminary engineering to start the process. The challenge to expand the interchange will be lengthening the I-75 bridge to create space for additional lanes underneath. Presently there are four lanes when the widened state highway may need as many as nine lanes.
Funding preliminary engineering will allow engineers to evaluate the existing bridge structure and develop a realistic cost estimate on construction. The preliminary engineering will also complete the interchange modification report, a document required by the federal highway administration before approving construction plans for existing interstate exits.
A great example of how the exit might look after expansion is I-75 exit 233 at state route 54 in Morrow. That location is an overpass, but has similar railroad constraints to SR 155.
Two other major projects up for consideration will be preparation work to widen Jodeco Road and connecting Flippen Road with Jonesboro Road.
Preliminary engineering and right of way acquisition to widen Jodeco Road between Chambers and Hudson Bridge Road was part of the county’s 2017 request for federal funding. The county was unsuccessful in that request, but continues to work with the Atlanta Regional Commission in attempts to secure the additional assistance. Federal dollars require a twenty percent local match and the Henry County SPLOST program has been utilized to cover that match on projects.
Connecting Flippen Road to Jonesboro Road has been discussed for decades, and the potential benefits now include better response times for the brand new fire station 15 located on North Mt Carmel Road. The new road segment would also connect with the Dutchtown schools, helping reduce traffic flow on Mitchell Road.
Several projects within the South Point activity center were mentioned. The committee will work with the city of McDonough for possible joint projects.
Two intersections of concern are state route 81 at state route 20, and SR 81 at McDonough-Lovejoy Road. The second intersection is next to Culver’s. A multiuse path project will also be considered between South Point Blvd and Westridge Parkway along highway 20.
SPLOST meetings during the month of September will discuss commission districts III and IV. The committee encourages area residents to attend and voice your thoughts or concerns.
The proposed extension of the Henry County SPLOST program will be decided by voters in November 2019. If approved, the SPLOST V program will continue the existing tax collections for an additional six years through March 31, 2025.