Great news! The proposed I-75 exit at Bethlehem Road has taken a big step forward after the interchange justification report was submitted to the federal highway administration for review.
The IJR is a technical document demonstrating the need for a new interstate exit within Henry County. The study started in 2016 when the board of commissioners approved $148,500 to hire Pond & Company as consultants on the project.
Pond & Company presented the initial overview of the justification report to Henry County and Georgia DOT in December 2017. [Presentation – 28 pages] Since that time, GDOT has provided their comments on the report and worked with Henry County on edits. The state has now given its approval to the report and submitted it to FHWA. The federal review process will take six to nine months and should be approved by the middle of next year.
After federal approval is granted, the county may then proceed to bid out preliminary engineering and the environmental impact statement. Funds are available for this phase within SPLOST IV. Design should take two to three years.
Right of way acquisition could start in 2021-2022 and take about two years to complete. Construction is tentatively planned to start in 2025 with the new exit open by 2028. Henry County is working with Georgia DOT and the Atlanta Regional Commission to secure state and federal funding to cover right of way and construction.