Majestic Realty Company consisting of 163 acres was rezoned for industrial use back in 2007. The land is located north of King Mill Road between US 23 / SR 42 and the Norfolk Southern railroad. The largest building from the original site plan was constructed in 2008, totaling 1.5 million square feet, and is utilized by Whirlpool.
Vacant areas of the site are now starting construction. Grading activities have started on the 27.6 acres between Whirlpool and the highway. The original site plan showed two buildings of 350,000 and 385,000 square feet within this area. There is no guarantee that the original site plan is being utilized, but major increases in total square footage are not anticipated given the small footprint.
Three additional buildings were depicted on the original site plan alongside King Mill Road. This area is still active pasture and no grading activities have occurred to date.
The project went through a development of regional impact and traffic study following state requirements at the time of original zoning. Below is the breakdown of traffic improvements recommended in 2007 and how those improvements have been implemented in the eleven years since then.
The traffic study acknowledged a future widening of state route 155 within the regional long-range plan. Back then, the widening was estimated to be complete by 2030. We now have a better timeline with construction scheduled for 2022. Georgia DOT is currently in preliminary engineering to widen SR 155 from I-75 north to highway 81.
Two intersections were identified as having capacity deficiencies based on background traffic, excluding the Majestic Realty Company project. Neither have been addressed eleven years later.
It was recommended to modify the intersection at SR 155 and King Mill Road to include dual left-turn lanes on the northbound approach and a shared through/right-turn lane. This cannot easily be accomplished because there is not an additional lane on SR 155 southbound to accept the second left-turn lane. The improvement should be included within the future widening project.
The study also suggested to provide protected-permissive left-turn phasing for the southbound approach of Industrial Boulevard. This could be accomplished by coordinating with Georgia DOT.
The other intersection with deficiencies was SR 42 at Bill Gardner Parkway. The study acknowledged evening delays for motorists traveling from Bill Gardner eastbound to SR 42 southbound – a traffic bottleneck still very much prevalent today.
The study recommended the installation of eastbound right-turn overlap phasing. This would give eastbound traffic a green turn light while northbound SR 42 has the left-turn light. This phasing is utilized at Eagles Landing Parkway and Rock Quarry Road in Stockbridge.
The city of Locust Grove has plans to install a roundabout at Bill Gardner Parkway and SR 42. Construction is estimated to be complete by 2023. The city has partnered with Georgia DOT to provide improvements from I-75 to Peeksville Road.
Majestic Realty Company was estimated to generate 5,427 new daily vehicle trips. Much of this volume is already on the roadways today with Whirlpool an active business within the community. After factoring the additional trips onto the roadways, the study recommended two improvements at I-75 exit 216. Neither can be completed until the I-75 overpass is expanded to accommodate additional lanes on the state highway.
The study recommended a second left-hand turn lane from I-75 south to SR 155 northbound, and a second left-hand turn lane from SR 155 northbound to I-75 north. The SPLOST V committee will consider preliminary engineering to start the process towards an eventual expansion of the interstate exit.
Traffic studies from old zoning cases may be found on the Atlanta Regional Commission website. Not all documents are available depending on the age of the regional review.