The SPLOST V committee met this past week to discuss commission district IV. A major focus within the district is to continue projects along Rock Quarry Road between SR 138 and Eagles Landing Parkway.
SPLOST III funded the grade separation and bridge at the Norfolk Southern railroad. This was a key project to keep traffic flowing and improve public safety trip times to Piedmont Henry. The program also improved the Banks Road at Rock Quarry Road intersection for total expenditures of $6,813,543.
When the railroad bridge was constructed, the county built capacity to support four lanes. This saves the SPLOST program time and money now as we work to widen the road.
The widening project has been identified as a priority within Henry County to improve traffic operations and safety. The existing two-lane roadway is operating at an unacceptable level of service “E” during peak hours and had five times the state average for roadway fatalities during the three-year span from 2014 to 2016.
SPLOST IV has funded preliminary engineering for the widening project. This process started in 2015 after Henry County was awarded $1.2 million in federal funds to cover eighty percent of costs. The required twenty percent local match, $300,000 dollars, was covered through SPLOST.
Last year Henry County applied for and received $5,600,000 in federal funding to purchase right of way. The federal funds are available in 2020 and SPLOST V will budget the matching twenty percent or $1,571,200.
The SPLOST V committee will also budget construction funds. Henry County will apply for federal funds as early as next year towards this project phase, and if the funds are awarded, construction could start as early as 2022. The most recent construction cost estimate from Georgia DOT totals $20,599,004.02 and would require a local match of $4.12 million dollars.
An additional $2,180,000 is needed for utility relocation. The county can include this within the request for federal dollars. Total project costs for all phases is estimated at $31,675,204.02.
Approximately six million dollars in additional local funding will be needed to build out the Rock Quarry Road widening. This will represent a large portion of commission district IV’s total available budget. The SPLOST V committee has not heard financial projections for the proposed program, but for reference, each commission district had a twenty million dollar budget within SPLOST IV.
The visual concept for the Rock Quarry Road widening project is available here shown during the Georgia DOT open house in April 2017. Since that time, some edits have been made to the project design and the visual concept may not reflect every aspect of the final plans. One such edit has been the addition of a traffic signal at Rock Quarry Road and Hospital Drive.
A second blog post looking at other possible projects within commission district IV will be posted in the upcoming days.
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.
The SPLOST V committee is holding biweekly meetings throughout the county to hear from residents and select projects for the proposed program extension. Meeting dates and locations are available here.